The story of the splat


There are many stories about the history of the Lambretta that have gained almost folklore status. One of my favourites is the story of the “splat”, or ink blot that appeared as a graphic on early GP’s.

You probably know it, but if you don’t, read on. And if you DO, read on anyway to make sure I’ve got it right.  As the nineteen-sixties drew to a close Signor Innocenti commissioned the famous design house Bertone to remodel the Lambretta range. The result of this collaboration is still one of the most recognisable Lambretta scooters, the GP (known as the DL in most markets outside the UK).  As well as s sleeker, slimmer, sportier body design, Bertone wanted a departure from the ‘old fashioned’ look of chrome plated badges and trim, presenting a more forwarding looking vision with a single colour of paint and matt black trim. This was a step too far for Innocenti, who insisted on some of his chrome back. In typical latin style a furious row erupted, which ended with Bertone throwing down his pen, leaving a splash of ink across his renderings. To commemorate the argument, Innocenti insisted that a legshield sticker was made in the shape of a stylised ink splat. On later models, and all UK imports,  this was replaced with a sticker of a checkered flag. Well, that’s the version I heard, anyway!