Regular contributor Darrin Slack sent me these fantastic period pics of the 1949 Giro d’Italia – featuring Italian Grand Prix Motorcycle Road Racer Romalo Ferri, at this point riding for the Minetti team. I don’t know too much more than that, and a Google search has netted little in the way of results, so if you know more, please leave some info in the comments.
Darrin has sent me a wealth of images and information over the past few week, if you like this sort of content, stay tuned for more!
Darrin has got back in touch, and informed me that Minetti were a large Lambretta dealer in Milan, and often Innocenti would showcase their latest models in the Minetti showrooms.
Found this over on the Italian version of eBay… a racing Lambretta prepared for the classic Milano Taranto stage race – a classic that ranks alongside the Paris-Dakar, Bol d’Or and Isle of Man TT. Based, by the look of it on a cutdown LD (or it could be a LC… any shaft drive experts out there care to enlighten me) rather than the more usually seen race prepped D’s it’s got a bunch of race ‘goodies’ including a double tank and a trumpet carb. Certainly looks the business.
I don’t think this bike raced in the 50’s version of the Milano Taranto (although I could be wrong) but in one of the more recent anniversary events. The only real giveaway is the Castrol logo… that version dates from the 70’s I think. It’s probably clear on the eBay site, but the subtleties of the Italian langue escape me.If you know more, please enlighten me in the comments!
If you want to find out more about the race, there’s a great website here. If you want to find out more about the scoot, and male get a bid in, Here’s the eBay link
If this scoot reminds you of something (it did me) it might be this race rep Vespa. I think the Vespa might actually be prettier… but the Lambretta is more badass!
This great bit of scootering history has just been posted on YouTube… The Lambretta Club of Great Britain racing at the Thruxton circuit in Hampshire, back in 1969. I’m assuming they hired the circuit for the day… they seem like they had a decent membership back in the day! The footage features several names that may be familiar to aficionados of the racing scene, Roy Bradford, Nev Frost, and the Ronald Brothers.
GP225WildCat has posted a number of other South Devon Lambretta Club vids on YouTube, all of which are well worth checking out! There is even more great stuff over at the Retrobubble website, mainly from the late ’50s to the 70’s, but some 80’s stuff too. All available to buy on DVD. As I have only just discovered this site myself, a full ‘review’ will be forthcoming, shortly!
I discovered this fantastic interview with Lambretta legends the Lambretta legends the Acillotti brothers… How they got started in scootering, Vespa’s verus Lambretta’s and their rivalry with Gori. Illustrated with a great looking racing scoot, it’s an interesting read, even when translated by Google from the original Italian.
UPDATE: Paolo Catani, the gent behind the Racing Lambretta site, has pointed me in the direction of an english version of the original interview, here. It certainly reads much better than the Google translation.
My favourite quote, (one that Google didn’t quite do justice); “It’s not true that it was Lambretta v. Vespa : that’s a false myth. It was always Lambretta against Lambretta because to race against a Vespa would have been a one-sided challenge” Quite.
This is one of my dreams… racing my (extremely slow) Series round the track on the roof of the iconic former FIAT factory in Turin.
Probably most well known in the UK for it’s brief appearance in the Italian Job, The Lingotto is an incredible work of modernist architecture. It was more than a factory, more of an enourmous machine for making cars… raw materials coming in on the ground floor, being built on s production line that progressed up the building before emerging, finished onto the rooftop test track. Brilliant.
No longer a car factory… now a business centre / concert hall / theatre / art gllery / shopping mall / hotel / university… (you might start to get an idea how BIG this thing is.
Italian owners of classic scooters had the chance to take thier scoots up the famous spiral ramp and put their machines through their paces on this classic track… thanks to a famous energy drink. The Red Bull Special Lingotto took place on the 25th of September (apparently it’s the third time they’ve done it), and awarded prizes for creativity as well as speed. I’d love to do that.
Found this story over at Italian site motoblog.it, which is also where I nicked the pictures from. Sorry that it appears to be mainly V•spas!