Pictures from the Spanish Lambretta Factory in Eibar
A couple of posts back, I wrote about the Lambretta Amiga – the last throw of the dice for the Serveta factory in the Spanish Basque country (here). I gave a short potted history of the Spanish Lambrettas – Reader Darrin Slack got in touch, and shared some fantastic images he had of the Eibar factory (I said he had shared a bunch of great content with me, didn’t I – stay tuned – there’s more to come).The pictures below are of the purpose-built factory that started building scooters in 1954 – just two years after a group of Basque businessmen obtained a licence from Innocenti to build Lambrettas in Spain.
The Basque factory was very successful – initially catering to the domestic Spanish market… as can be seen in the image below, they made at least 3 million machines…
Thanks again to Darrin for the fantastic images. If you’re interested in finding out more about Spanish Lambrettas – check out this site Serveta is Betta.
A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing through the Scooter Restorations site, as I often do when I have a spare ten minutes. I’ve posted a few desirable rare Lambrettas for sale on the blog. Now, I know they specialise in ‘rare’ Lambretta parts, from the model A onwards… But I noticed they had (a few) parts for a Lambretta Amiga. A Lambretta that it never even made it to production. In fact, even pictures of it are rare… although there does appear to be a prototype in the Museo de la Industria Armera in Eibar, Spain. (If the name Eibar doesn’t ring a bell, it probably should, it’s the industrial town in the spanish Basque Country – Euskadi – where Lambretta’s were manufactured (sometimes under the name Serveta).
So it’s rare. We’ve established that. But is it desirable? Well, maybe. But I would hazard a guess at ‘only to a completist’ or only to people really into 80’s/90’s design.
Spanish machines are increasingly sought after in the UK, the Eibar Lambretta Winter Model and Serveta Jet 200 being particularly prized. The last real model to roll off the production line was the Serveta Lince (Spanish for Lynx), which was still very recognisably a Lambretta – albeit – like a 60’s pop star with a facelift and a spray-tan – a Lambretta with a distinctly 80’s make-over. I wrote about the Lince back in 2013 – here – since then my opinions on many things have mellowed, but sadly not my rather forthright views on the Vespa PX. Anyway I digress. Not like me is it? Back to The Lince. Sadly, although a modest success (over 1,500 made) the Lince was not going to secure the future of Spanish Lambretta production. So it was back the the drawing board, and in 1987, it probably was still designed on a drawing board, CAD being in it’s infancy. I’ll tell you one thing though, they made good use of their rulers that day.
The Amiga was Spain’s attempt to take The Lambretta brand into the ’90s… and one thing you can definitely say of The Lambretta Amiga was that it’s of it’s time. In typical late 80’s fashion anything resembling a sensuous curve was squared off – it was straight lines all the way, baby. And it wasn’t the only product they had in mind either, there was a rather funky looking trike – The Lambretta Tron – and an Lambro/Vespa Ape type commercial vehicle – The Motocarro Lambretta. The Tron even made it to prototype stage – I can feel another post coming on.
Back to the Amiga. Although it never made it past the prototype stage, there was big talk at the time of The Amiga being “The New Lambretta”. I remember reading an article about it (probably in Scootering) and being absolutely horrified – having a real “What the fuck have they done” moment, and thinking it was like a stormtrooper crossed with a Honda Melody. And not in a good way. (The design of the Honda Melody has aged pretty well, actually, but back in the late 80’s, to any Lambretta or Vespa rider the words Honda and Melody were about the worst insults you could throw at a machine). Anyway. I’ve waffled on far too long. There’s some Amiga bits on eBay, here. Basically, a frame (with some bits bolted on – the fuel tank and the rear shock), the forks and front wheel, and the headset, including the distinctive speedo. There’s no bodywork, seat or engine, although I’d imagine a standard Lambretta/Serveta lump would fit.
A final note, I’m pretty sure that when I originally looked, Scooter Restorations had an Amiga speedometer in stock. It’s now showing as “out of stock”. Which begs the question… “Who bought it?” and “Why?” Is someone out there building an Amiga? I’d love to know! If it’s you, please get in touch, I love to know more!
Trawling the interwebs, came across this dapper Spanish model D… one of the first model of Lambretta out of the Eibar factory. Looks rather good themed as a miltary medical scoot… everything looks as it should, too my amateur eye anyway, apart from those saddles – too new! After a few thousand kilometres of running in though, the seats should start to look as good as the rest of the scooter.
Loving the folding rear foot-pegs, the front leg shield extenders, and the colour matched tool-kit. It’s just those seats, man…
Here’s a bit of a rarity I stumbled across on eBay, a dual Lambretta/Serveta branded scrambler style moped 50cc motorcycle (It ain’t a moped – see the comments).
Now, normally when you see the words ‘very rare’ you can take them with a pinch of salt, but this is the real deal, especially in the UK – although slightly less so in it’s native Spain. Dating from the late ’70’s the Puma came in two variants, the ‘Endure’ and the ‘Puma Cross’ the Puma Cross having 5 gears – itself pretty unusual for a moped. It’s in need of a little TLC, but comes with a bunch of spares. The only bit that doesn’t look quite right to me is the exhaust… I think the original may have come up a higher, following the lines of the mudguard…
Rarity usually demands a premium in the Lambretta world, but this is currently sitting at just £400. If you’re like the look of it, or just fancy something a bit different for your Lambretta collection get your bid in! Here’s the eBay link
Iain Hannay sent me some fantastic pics of a Model D, that he’s just got running… built in the Eibar factory, in the Spanish Basque country.
Now, I see a fair few Spanish Series 2 Lambrettas these days (much more than I used to, for some reason), and Jet 200’s are getting recognised as very desirable scooters… but I haven’t seen many early open frame models. If any, truth be told.
Iain’s D has some nice period accessories, the legshield extenders, and the spare wheel carrier / rack… and I love that oxblood paint. A cracking little scooter, that looks great in the Spanish sunshine!
I’d love to see any other old Spanish Lambrettas… any Spanish LD’s or Series 1’s out there? And what differentiates them from their Italian cousins?
Theres’a nice, straight standard(ish) Serveta Jet 200 on eBay. Opinions are mixed about this scoot… is it neither SX or GP, or does it combine the best styling features of both? If you’ve got your foot in the second camp check it out on eBay, here.
You’re going to love this scooter, or hate it. (Spoiler alert: I love it!) What you won’t be able to do, is ignore it. And you’ll have never seen anything like it before. I could try and describe it, but you’ll get the jist from the pics, and the full description is on eBay. If you love it, can finish it, and you’ve got a wedge of cash burning a hole in your pocket, put a bid in on eBay here.
I’m loving this tune, and video by Cantabrian Reggae band Smooth Beans. (Cantabria, in case you’re Spanish geography is a little rusty, is the area around Santander in the North. I know it, slightly, from family camping holidays near Castro Urdiales, many years ago!). Any way, the Beans appear to have the Ska/Rocksteady / Skinhead Reggae sound down really well… a genre of music that particularly appeals to me. The video is pretty good too, featuring a nice Eibar Lambrettta (or should that be Serveta). I’m not an authority on these Spanish machines, so I’m not sure if the SX/Jet style headlight was ever fitted to a S2 type machine… but hey… the scooter looks pretty damn good, loving the sidecar too!
One of my favourite old skool cutsom machines, the Rallymaster was a special build by Lambretta Concessionaires for sporting UK scooterists competing in rallying/scrambling type events.
At the time, it was probably the best Lambretta built, this of course would make it the best scooter in the world. There were quite a few variations from the standard Series 2 Lambretta… all of which have been faithfully reproduced on this fine replica, now for sale on eBay.
You can get all the details there of course, but check out the Eibar style turning front mudguard (with horncasting to match), the working Raydot spotlight, and the rear grab rail… epsecially usefull if the back wheel gets stuck in mud; and, my favourite feature, the intrument panel with a stop watch, map light and rev counter.