Every now and then, a Lambretta comes along and blows my socks off. This post is about one that has done just that. But first, some context. The ‘rusto-rat’ look has been around for a while, and spawned some great looking scooters. I wrote about it here – back in 2013 – so the look has been around for a while! I think the looks originates with the Hot Rod scene – where distressed and patina-ed bodywork is paired with handwritten signwriting – often coupled with a very powerful engine. The first Lambretta I recall having this look – a real gamechanger – was a Series 2 called Janie Jones, and features heavily that post.
So, this signwritten rusto-rat look has become a staple of the custom Lambretta scene now – and there are many very cool examples of it around. The signwriting lends itself to classic curves of the Lambretta – and the retro typography is and clearly handwritten and crafted style is just matches perfectly with the machine.
Styles changes, and every style evolves. That’s what keeps things fresh. I think the rusto-rat scene has reached it’s apex in this scooter. I love everything about it. The theme is original. The way the graphics and the type fit the panels is spot on – without looking too contrived. And everywhere you look there are little touches that just make you smile. And it all comes together beautifully.
The scooter – a Serveta – has had a complicated history, involving both Kris Green and Harry Barlow (of H-Bomb Scooters fame) in it’s creation – and is now owned by Darren Wood from Wigan. The signwriting and faux-patina work was all carried out by Phil at The Monster Forge– a visit to their facebook page reveals more more of Phil’s fantastic work – on scooters, trucks and more. If this style floats your boat – and it does mine – Phil is the master of it. There’s some fantastic Alice of Wonderland murals on some Series 2 side-panels if you scroll down a bit! I hope to feature a blog post on Monster Forge in the not too distant future – stay tuned for updates.
If you’ve got a custom Lambretta that you’d like featured on the blog, or if you run a business, and there’s something special you’ve worked on that you’d like featured, get in touch.
‘Original condition’ may be a synonym for a bit rough. Just as ‘patina’ has become a synonym for what I used to call an RAF scoot – Rusty as F••k. But IMHO there’s a lot to like about this SX. For a start it’s all there… (well as far as I can tell from the pics, barring the rear frame badge, which shouldn’t be a problem). The panels look like they’re a good snug fit. Of course it needs a bit of TLC. And the engine will need a tinker with. Ok, it’s not a 200, but it IS an SX, a genuine one, not an LI dressed up, and it’s not silly money. It’s not cheap… but at todays prices, £3,550.00 looks like pretty good value to me. You could go either way with this one, a ‘conserved restoration’ or a a full nut and bolt shiney shiney job. Your call. Here it is on eBay
Love the original factory paint with period stickers on this ’59 Framebreather.
It comes with a TS1 225 engine, and some minor jobs to get it finished, but to my eye it’s a cracking looking scoot.
The original engine comes as part of the deal, so if you want to take it back to standard, you can. On eBay here
I love this little J50 I have discovered on eBay… looks like it’s in pretty good, original condition; the sign writing looks bang on, and contemporaneous with the scooter. I imagine it was originally a municipal vehicle for the Italian equivalent of the local council. Fantastic. Great patina… and no, that’s not a euphemism for “rusty as ••••” . In my opinion, the new owner would should keep this scooter exactly as it is… as a little piece of cultural history. Marvellous. all the details, and a few more pics on eBay. eBay Link
Browsing eBay, as I do, just on the off chance my lottery numbers come up, I came across a couple of rather nice Series 1’s… each with a completely different look and feel. First up is this restored example in turquoise and white… 175 AF Rayspeed kit and a Clubman exhaust… it’s got a fixed “Buy it now” price of £3,150. Very tidy, very nice. If it’s your cup of tea, here’s the link: Lambretta Series One on eBay.
But I think I actually prefer this one… “The Swiss Shitter” Based on a Swiss model* Series One, and also dating from ’59… this ‘rat look racer’ has a lovely patina about her… love the “stickerbomb” look and the chrome horncast. It’s got a Rapido 225 lump, GP 200 Gearbox and the carb and exhaust (a Fresco) to go with it. Currently sitting at £2,250 but with four days to go, and this one will go higher. Here’s the link.
*Swiss model? No, I didn’t know they made one either. I can feel a bit of research and a blog post coming on! From the eBay listing, there was hand pinstriping as standard, as well as side panel and front mudguard embellishers, and running board protectors.