This article from March last year published in the Financial Times, talks about the rising prices of vintage Lambrettas and Vespas – Nice to see DIsco Dez, The Awfully Pleasant Scooter Association and Dean Orton, and The Rimini Lambretta Centre all get a mention!
Tag Archives: Dean Orton
‘My Minds Eye’ – RLC TV GT200 – The perfect mod scooter?
My Minds Eye will be familiar to many of my readers from various scooter magazines and taken the top honours at custom shows throughout the UK and Europe. Commissioned and designed by Nick ‘Tolley’ Tollazzi, who personally sourced all the accessories, only selecting the rarest and the best. The accessories alone (listed below) are valued at £14,000 and are all original and genuine;
- Vigano flute
- Super fork boots
- Ulma front rack with crash bars (supplied by Nanucci London)
- 9 raydot DL 78 lights
- 4 Lucas L785 owl lights
- 4 alpine horns
- 2 Pegasus horses
- 2 St Christopher badges
- 2 stadium folding mirrors
- Desmo lady
- Grants front badge
- Motoplas flyscreen
- Ken Cobin series 3 exhaust
- Ulma footboard extensions
- Nanucci toolbox with original lock and enamel St Christopher badge
- Poli Micro Tromba horns
- Ulma stand feet
- Giuliari sidewinder seat and frame with original 60’s Midland leopard print
- Ulma rear rack with Ulma wheel disc and spinner
- Ulma Florida bars
- Ulma rear crash bar
- Scots GB reflective rear badge
- Metalplast number plate surround and metalplast rear mudflap
- Catalux twin reflector rear light lens
- Michelin ACS tyres
- Correct fibre glass mudguard
The TV200 – known in the UK only as the GT – a rare and desirable model to start with – was personally built by Dean Orton of the renowned Rimini Lambretta Centre, arguably the best restorers of Lambrettas in the world. You can read about the work RLC put in here… to quote Dean “Anybody who thinks it’s the easy option ‘simply bolting accessories’ to a scooter really is talking shite. EVERY single accessory can be a major ‘mare and getting the layout right can take forever. No point slinging it all on and hoping it’ll look good because you’ll end up in tears. Nick’s front rack took the best part of three days work to layout, then strip, polish up, re-mount, wire up and connect. As Mr. T. himself says, “you can’t buy style – either you’ve got it or you haven’t.”
The whole package, the model, the restoration, the accessories, the provenance, go together to make this GT maybe the ultimate mod scooter. And she’s up for sale…
If you’re interested, and you can stump up the not inconsiderable £20,000 asking price, you can ring the owner on 07967363091 with questions or to see more photos. Find out more on eBay, here.
Latest whispers on the L70 Lambretta Vendetta
Further rumours (from a reliable source) have reached Lambrettista Towers concerning the new official Lambretta. The name, Vendetta, as suspected, refers to the ongoing family rivalry between Vespa and Lambretta. L70 is the code name referencing Lambretta’s 70th anniversary in 2017.
The scooter is going to be a “No Compromise” high-end machine… aimed at customers who are willing to pay a little more for a quality product. So, it’s not some cheap, ‘plastic fantastic’.
The rumoured specs are interesting (and positive) too; Steel cage bodywork built around a tubular frame, steel legshields, aluminium handlebars/switches and decorative trim, removable sidepanels with interchangeable plastic, sheet metal and carbon fibre options. Initial Vendetta models will be powered by a range of air-cooled engines, in 50, 125 and 180cc capacities. There is talk of a water-cooled model in development. (If you read an earlier version of this post I’d got this the wrong way round).
There is also plans for a range of aftermarket parts. Stock plastic parts will be interchangeable with carbon fibre parts. The sidepanels will be 3d printable or steel. There’s serious talk of a high-performance tuning kit. So, much like a classic Lambretta, you’ll be able to specify and customise your Vendetta ‘your way’.
As mentioned in previous posts, the scooter is designed by Internationally renowned design house Kiska (famous for their relaunch of the classic Swedish Husqvarna motorcycle marque and ongoing work with the ever innovative Austrian brand KTM).
Detailed specs will follow soon, keep watching this space.
Frankenstein Scooters to Dracula’s Castle – The Review
On the strength of my post about the video publicising his book, Martin “Sticky” Round sent me a copy to review. Which was nice. This is a first for me, as it’s the first “freebie” I’ve got through the blog. To be fair to my loyal readers though, I’m determined to give this a fair review, and be as honest and forthright as I can… and not just do a “puff piece”.
This was a tricky review to write. I could sum the whole post up in four words… but that wouldn’t do justice to the book. And I could ramble on for ages pouring more and more praise onto it, because this is simply a great book, but I suspect that my review would come across as a little dull if I did.
And this book is anything but dull. As readers of his work in Scootering will know, Sticky has a fine command of the English language… and he’s had the opportunity to give it full flight in this book. I read a lot. I’ve often got two or three books on the go at once, and I devour everything from biographies to science fiction, and pretty much everything in between. Once in a while, I enjoy a book so much that I rave on about it to friends and family and pass it on, saying “you must read this!” (The last book I did that with was CJ Sansom’s Dominion, btw. Highly recommended). Frankenstein Scooters to Dracula’s Castle is up there. Right up there. I honestly haven’t enjoyed reading a book more this year.
Sticky tells his road trip tale in a highly entertaining fashion. The “scootery bits” aren’t so technical that a non-scooterist would be turned off, and just give an overview of what it’s like to own, ride and be part of the classic scooter scene without assuming any prior knowledge. A opening couple of chapters about building the scooters to take them on the journey could be as dull as ditchwater – but handled with Sticky’s light humorous tone (and the liberal use of the word “bollocks”) it’s like a very entertaining bloke down the pub sharing a great story with you.
In fact, the whole book is like that. Only they interesting bloke down the pub usually gets a bit boring after a couple of pints. Sticky’s book never wanes. While sharing his adventure of crossing Europe, from the Adriatic Coast to Turkey (and back), the entertainment factor never lets up. Sticky didn’t do the trip alone, he took his 11 year old son, Sam, and wife along. His wife, Tracy was riding perhaps the most Frankenstein of the Frankesnstein scooters, a Maicoletta with a 400cc Suzuki engine shoehorned into the old scooter bodywork. They met up with another name well known to the Lambretta scene, Dean Orton from the Rimini Lambretta Centre. Dean was riding the least modded bike… (and ultimately the most reliable of the scooters) a moderately upgraded Indian GP. And he brought his daughter, Kimberly along for the ride too.
Undertaking a challenging journey on highly modified vintage scooters is not a thing to do lightly. Let alone when you’ve got the wife and kids along. Sticky’s attitude is prepare well, and hope for the best. Things will generally work out and when they don’t, well, that’s character building. Seems to have worked for him. Still, with the author of the Lambretta repair and maintenance bible The Complete Spanner’s Manual: Lambretta Scooters and the owner of the RLC, an accomplished Lambretta mechanic in his own right, both veterans of many rallies and road trips… they were going to be alright if anything did go wrong with the scoots.
To get back to that bloke down the pub, that you initailly find the life and soul, and who you then discover is just someone who likes the sound of their own voice and has found a whole new audience in you… Well, you often find their worldview is a little blinkered too. They say travel broadens the mind, and to an extent I think that’s true, but I think you’ve got to be pretty broadminded to begin with. I found myself nodding along and agreeing with most of what Sticky said in the book… and, being Sticky he always has an interesting way of saying it. His “Dickhead Theory” I found particularly insigtful.
The trip, through Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey (and back via Greece and Albania) give Sticky ample opportunity to expound on everything from his theories on parenting to his attitudes to other cultures… with a handful of remincenses about previous scootering adventures, and a soupcon of local history along the way. His summing up of the Gallipoli campaign made interesting reading in light of all the recent celebrations surrounding the 70th anniverary of D-Day.
The book ends with Sticky being a bit down as the trip reaches it’s conclusion… and that’s how I felt as I reached the end of the book. I was enjoying reading it so much I just wanted more… Finally, there is some advice on how to plan your own adventure… and if you don’t feel inspired to at least start planning something, even if it never gets past the plannng stage, I suspect there’s something wrong with you.
Anyway… I’m not going to witter on and spoil the book for you. Suffice it to say it’s a damn good read. One that, in my humble opinion, deserves to break out from the scootering world into a general readership… You don’t have to be a scooter fan to enjoy a book this good. After all “Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” (basically a roadtrip book with a bunch of noodly half baked philosphising thrown in) became a classic… and it’s a far less entertaining read.
If I had summed the whole review up in four words they would have been “Excellent read. Buy it”. Actually buy two, give one to a friend. It’s that good.
It’s out on Kindle now, at a unfeasibly reasonable £2.95, a price that almost makes it worthwhile buying a Kindle. The paperback is also available from Scooterproducts, Amazon, and eBay. The perfect last minute gift for Fathers Day!
Bonus points if you can find the other video featuring (a very young) Sticky on this site. If you do post your answer in the comments.
Original Innocenti Twin SX200 prototype being restored by the RLC
Twin cylinder Lambretta’s are something most Lambrettisti have at least heard of, if not seen in the flesh. The most well known being the 250cc Targa Twin engines. What some people maybe don’t realise is this engine is based on a Innocenti original… and prototype twin cylindered SX200’s were developed and built in Milan.
Two of these ultra rare beasts are owned by Lambretta maestro Vittorio Tessera, (head of Casa Lambretta, author of many Lambretta books), one of which is on display in his Lambretta Museum. The other? It had the engine removed years ago, and hasn’t run since it left Innocenti. But all that is going to change.
Impressed with the painstaking “conserved restoration” The Rimini Lambretta Centre carried out on the original 1960 Roma Olympics Series 2, (see my previous post about these beauties), Sig. Tessera commisioned Dean and the team at the RLC to do a similar job on the twin. As pretty much a “one off” – it differs significantly in configuration from it’s contemporaneous partner – it presents an immense challenge; but one that the RLC are more than a match for. This is one to watch. I can’t wait to see, and hear, this historic machine running.
BIG thanks to Dean from the RLC, for helping me put this post together, and proofing my ramblings.
Find out more on the Rimini Lambretta Site.