Need a Lamby? There’s a bit of a wait…

Indian LambrettasReading in this article from India’s “The Hindu” online newspaper about the new found respect for Lambretta’s in India. SIL, (Scooters India Ltd) are still a going concern, still rolling out factory fresh GP200 engines like this one on eBay (I think they are still making them, they may have a big warehouse full of NOS somewhere!).

There are the usual newspaper inaccuracies about Lambretta history of course, but we’ll skip past them, to get to a nugget of info that stopped me in my tracks. Back in the day, the Lambretta scooter became the preferred personal transport of white-collar workers on the subcontinent, mostly government and bank employees. Soon, demand far surpassed production, and the waiting list for the vehicle lengthened. And lengthened. Mr Mr Raveendran, ex Superintendent of Government Gardens and Parks takes up the story;

“In the 60s, you could buy a Lamby only through the State Industries Department. One had to book the scooter and wait for a minimum of six years to take delivery”

Did you get that? A SIX YEAR waiting list! Although, as ever in life, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Mr. Raveendran managed to jump the queue, and get his scooter in two weeks.

The original article is here.

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Kelvinator Avanti

Kelvinator AvantiSo, I know the name Kelvinator… they make fridges, freezers… that sort of stuff right… oh yeah, and Lambrettas. Of a sort. Well to be honest, I didn’t know that last bit. So, as well as companies like SIL and API, and even Vijai that I know were making Lambrettas under license in the subcontinent, so was a international maker of white goods. Weird.

$(KGrHqVHJBkFBR0-nyn2BRuI5-nJkw~~60_12 Kelvinator AvantiAnd there’s one for sale on eBay. Ok, it’s in bits… and it suffers from many of the same ‘styling issues’ as the Lamby Polo that I posted about previously… but for some reason I don’t mind the look of this one so much. Maybe it’s because the paint isn’t so lairy. Or the panels are a bit better. The V*spa style headlight is weird, but not too ugly… and it has got a similar horrible (imho) PX / Polo style horncasting. But if you can live with all that, and you fancy a proper ‘curryburner’ with a difference, you can buy it on eBay, here. And it’s cheap for Lammie.

Does your scooter smell of mint?

Lamby PoloThat’s because it’s a polo! Boom boom! Ok, dad joke out the way… here we have a very rare 1991 Lamby Polo, an Indian evolution of the SIL Lambretta. The seller reckons there are only 12 registered in the UK. I’m surprised it’s that many.

Lamby Polo $(KGrHqZHJCYFGgOOi0gUBRqygmy29w~~60_12 $(KGrHqFHJEgFGpP4!2McBRqyg2pQpg~~60_12 $(KGrHqFHJFYFGWM7O,QoBRqyg5I1ZQ~~60_12Because it may be rare, but it sure is ugly too. Some designs grow on you after time. But I thought the Lamby Polo was ugly “back in the day” and I think it’s ugly now. If you want an object lesson in styling …or rather how to take a classic design and wreck it, just take a look at this scooter. To put things in context, this was the era of the PX and PK V#spa, and the Polo was trying to bring a 1960’s design (well, late 50’s really) into the 80’s. But sticking on big ugly indicators, a horrible headlight and PX style horncasing, as well as a turning front mudguard (just use the lovely Eibar style one ffs!) and casting a bizarre, “go faster” shape into the sidepanel just doesn’t work.

Ok, it was for the Indian market, not here, but it didn’t cut it over there, by all accounts.

The best thing about this scooter, IMHO, is the seat. And that looks awful in this scooter. Who would put orange with lime green and turquoise. But it would look fine on another scooter.

Anyway, you probably got it by now that I don’t like this scooter very much. But it is a Lammy, sort of. And it might float your boat. Or you might be a collector who fancies it for rarity value. Or your Indian, and you want to relive your youth. Well, you can put a bid in on eBay, here.

If it was me, I’d buy it, take off eveything that makes it look like a Lamby (store all that carefully), stick on a standard S2 headlight and horncasing, and you’ve got a cheap(ish) Lambretta.