Lambretta’s monkey bike – The Rosella

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Information on this little oddity is scarce, but I’ve pulled together what I can. My main source is the french site moto-collection.org As is usually the case, I’m working from a position of profound ignorance, and you, my readers often know much more than me… so I’m quite happy to be be put right – just leave a comment and I’ll update the post when I can. All pics harvested from an intensive search of the web. If they are yours, and copyright, my apologies. Hopefully it’s ok to collate them all for the sake of posterity!

201112817034_squashedscooterThere seems to be differing accounts of it’s genesis… whether it is an ‘official’ machine out of the Innocenti factory (perhaps a prototype, or side project), OR something ‘knocked up’ by a neighbouring factory in Milan. It appears to have been marketed by a manufacturer of marine equipment, based – like Innocenti – in Milan… Nautica Pennati.  who are still in business. (I’ve contacted them, to ask if they have any information, but it was a while ago, so don’t hold your breath!).This would suggest the Rosella was designed as an accessory for a yacht… as once the handlebars are removed and the front wheel is turned over it is only 90cm long.

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Innovative design – perhaps the cutest Lambretta of them all?

The Rosella is a tidy little design – I love the way it integrates the fuel tank into the frame… and the front and rear lights into the fuel tank. The main frame is very neat, basically two tapering tubes, welded together. To my mind, this supports the theory that it was a factory prototype – this is a sofisticated piece of design work, made by somebody with some knowledge of how to put a two wheeler together neatly. The main, obviously Innocenti element to the design is the J50 engine / crankcase. This helps date the Rosella, as the J range was introduced in 1964. Despite it’s tiny size, the Rosella has a complete suspension system: a short telescopic fork at the front and by a hinged, damped element by the power unit at the rear. I’m not sure how effective this would be, but the Rosella was obviously only designed to cover short distances! Another nod to the Lambretta is the “D” type toolbox in the first pic, though mounted ‘side-ways’ to the frame, rather than under the seat.

Rarity and value

Information is scarce – but rumour has it there are only three (yep, you read that right, three) Rosella’s in existence. One (pictured above) sold on German eBay a few years ago, for around €2.5k – if rarity = value, somebody got a bargain.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Second of the three is (or was) in the US, and appeared at the LCUSA Lambretta Jamboree in 2006 – and the pics show it competing in the gymkana. Aparently, at some point there was quiet a nasty accident in which the rider broke his collar bone, but the bike survived.

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As for the third Rosella, I’ve been unable to track it down, so it may, or may not exist! It may be (must be!) the one pictured in the GP turquoise. If you own it, one of the other two, or have another sitting in a shed (or on a yacht) somewhere, I’d love to know more. Send info and pics please! And, if you don’t actually own one, but know more about it than I clearly do, please let me know in the comments below!

 

Ultra rare Italian / Californian Scooter – The Rex Monaco

rexmonacoheroCame across this on Craigslist, a scooter I’d never heard of before… the Rex Monaco.

Aficionados of Italian scooters might spot that this is a Garelli Capri lookalike… in fact it’s a badge engineered scooter from Gabelli, sold under the Rex brand in the US. (a similar scooter was marketed as the Capri de Luxe in Italy and the Garelli Monaco in the UK).

This is a super-rare scoot – and while not as rare as this Maserati scooter – is possibly one of only 250 made – and it’s maybe the best example of the model that exists. For the $2,600 asking price you get not one, but four Rex Monacos. One complete and original, clean runner and three ‘parts’ scooters – enough to restore a second one.

The Craigslist listing is here, and there’s a ton more about it on the sellers blog.

Lambretta Serveta Puma Cross

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LamServetaPumaHere’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

Capri Sun!

Agrati CapriRemember that shot I posted of an Agrati Capri and a London Doubledecker? Yeah, you do… this one. Well, Dave, who shot it got in touch (ages ago, actually… but I’ve been busy!) to let me know he had another shot of the same scoot. As I alluded to earlier… a lovely little scooter the Capri, beautiful lines, and you can often pick them up for peanuts (well peanuts compared to what you’d pay for a Lambretta) on eBay. Parts are obviously not as easy to get hold of as a Lammie, but the internet has made that a bit easier too…

Anyway, thanks Dave… check out more of his pics on Flickr here. Check out the “Abandoned scooter, two cats and a barbecue” shot!

Rare 1970 Lambretta GP200 Electronic on eBay

Lambretta GP 200 Electronic“rare” is a word that is much overused in eBay listings relating to scooters… But those of you who know your Lambrettas will know this is something a bit special. Nobody knows how many original Electronics there are left, but there’s only going to be a few. “Rare as a Spitfire” is the line used in the description… that’ll give you some perspective. With machines like this, provenance is everything. This scooter is documented way back, and has a certificate from the LCGB. But, if you are thinking of putting a bid in, please do your own homework and satisfy yourself that it’s the genuine article. After all, your probably end up paying at least a £5k premium for that coveted ‘Electronic’ tag.

The seller bought the bike on eBay in May this year, (how did I not see that!), in bits, and although it’s only July, it looks like he’s done an excellent resto on it. All the parts and processes are listed on eBay, along with the cost of everything, and the history of the bike. Now, I don’t know the guy, but everything seems pretty open, up front and honest. But as the saying goes, caveat emptor. Go and have a look. It’s in Sidcup, Kent.

Here’s the link.

Lambretta GP 200 Electronic

Lambretta GP 200 Electronic

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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.

Rare tartan ‘deerstalker’ helmet on eBay

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You’d need to be a certain kind of person to pull off wearing this; and probably need a nice LD or Series I with period tartan seat covers and wheel covers to go with it. Personally, although a proud scot, I was never sure about the tartan accessories that you could ‘dress’ your scooter with, but it’s a look, and when it’s done well it certainly evokes the era of the scooter. 

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And I’ve never been convinced about deerstalkers. Unless your Sherlock Holmes, leave well alone. I know some of the original mods wore them (briefly!), and there was a bit of a fad for them in the early ’80’s… very much part of the “casual” movement… worn with belted, burgundy leather jackets, very pale jeans frayed at the bottom and kickers. Or perhaps I’m getting all of that wrong, the casual thing never really grabbed me, I stuck with my charity shop/carnaby street mod revival look. Anyway, if I was going to wear a deerstalker, one in Cameron tartan (which I think this is) would come close to top of the list. 

But if you’ve got the cojones to pull it off, here’s the bash hat that will make you stand out in the crowd. Although I certainly wouldn’t reccomend it for everyday wear. Buy it now for £160 on eBay.
I reckon it will go to Japan. They like this sort of thing out there!

Ever wish you had a spare £16 Grand?

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I know, silly question. But I do, right now. There’s somebody on eBay selling this delightful, and pretty rare Lambretta Model D sidecar combination. Which looks as close to concours as you’d want. I’ve recently started compiling a ‘dream garage’ list of Lambretta’s I’d love to own, and a D is right up there. As is a Lambretta sidecar combo, but I’d never put the two together in my head. There are several nice touches to the setup that really work well, I love the chrome legshield trim on the scoot, as well as the spare wheel carrier with integrated petrol tank, a lovely original (looking anyway) item with the innocenti logo. The luggage rack on the sidecar and the front bumper bar on the D are nice too. It also comes with optional “butty box’ behind the fitted petrol tank, something I suspect is an expensive addition if you need to source an original one. Another nice touch is the matching saddles and leather trim on the sidecar. Class. The only thing that really jars is the wheel embellisher on the sidecar. I think I’d either lose that and paint the wheel to match the bodywork, or paint the blue part of the embellisher to match the saddles. But who am I to be so picky! It’s sitting at a not inconsequential £8k at the moment, which seems a tad on the high side to me, but if it’s the sort of rare, early Lambretta that floats your boat, it might be right up your alley. Link here.

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The other £8k would be going to the same bloke… clicking the “see sellers other items” link brought up a lovely Fiat 500 D. Nice, although again, probably a little on the high side price wise. Link here.
He does appear to have listed both items twice.

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Lambretta Scrambler on eBay

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One of the more unique Lambretta’s on eBay at the moment, this scrambler dates from the mid 1960’s, and comes complete with some history and a box of cine film, from period scrambling events!
It’s an amalgam of a 1957 frame (A Model D would be my guess) and LD 150 engine, which has recently had a pro rebuild. It’s not looking terribly road legal… but it’s not for that. Imagine the fun you’d have (and the looks you’d get) blasting about the campsite on a rally on this!
It’s currently sitting at £3,300… which puts it in the same price bracket as a new LN. Here’s the link