Pictures from the Spanish Lambretta Factory in Eibar
A couple of posts back, I wrote about the Lambretta Amiga – the last throw of the dice for the Serveta factory in the Spanish Basque country (here). I gave a short potted history of the Spanish Lambrettas – Reader Darrin Slack got in touch, and shared some fantastic images he had of the Eibar factory (I said he had shared a bunch of great content with me, didn’t I – stay tuned – there’s more to come).The pictures below are of the purpose-built factory that started building scooters in 1954 – just two years after a group of Basque businessmen obtained a licence from Innocenti to build Lambrettas in Spain.
The Basque factory was very successful – initially catering to the domestic Spanish market… as can be seen in the image below, they made at least 3 million machines…
Thanks again to Darrin for the fantastic images. If you’re interested in finding out more about Spanish Lambrettas – check out this site Serveta is Betta.
A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing through the Scooter Restorations site, as I often do when I have a spare ten minutes. I’ve posted a few desirable rare Lambrettas for sale on the blog. Now, I know they specialise in ‘rare’ Lambretta parts, from the model A onwards… But I noticed they had (a few) parts for a Lambretta Amiga. A Lambretta that it never even made it to production. In fact, even pictures of it are rare… although there does appear to be a prototype in the Museo de la Industria Armera in Eibar, Spain. (If the name Eibar doesn’t ring a bell, it probably should, it’s the industrial town in the spanish Basque Country – Euskadi – where Lambretta’s were manufactured (sometimes under the name Serveta).
So it’s rare. We’ve established that. But is it desirable? Well, maybe. But I would hazard a guess at ‘only to a completist’ or only to people really into 80’s/90’s design.
Spanish machines are increasingly sought after in the UK, the Eibar Lambretta Winter Model and Serveta Jet 200 being particularly prized. The last real model to roll off the production line was the Serveta Lince (Spanish for Lynx), which was still very recognisably a Lambretta – albeit – like a 60’s pop star with a facelift and a spray-tan – a Lambretta with a distinctly 80’s make-over. I wrote about the Lince back in 2013 – here – since then my opinions on many things have mellowed, but sadly not my rather forthright views on the Vespa PX. Anyway I digress. Not like me is it? Back to The Lince. Sadly, although a modest success (over 1,500 made) the Lince was not going to secure the future of Spanish Lambretta production. So it was back the the drawing board, and in 1987, it probably was still designed on a drawing board, CAD being in it’s infancy. I’ll tell you one thing though, they made good use of their rulers that day.
The Amiga was Spain’s attempt to take The Lambretta brand into the ’90s… and one thing you can definitely say of The Lambretta Amiga was that it’s of it’s time. In typical late 80’s fashion anything resembling a sensuous curve was squared off – it was straight lines all the way, baby. And it wasn’t the only product they had in mind either, there was a rather funky looking trike – The Lambretta Tron – and an Lambro/Vespa Ape type commercial vehicle – The Motocarro Lambretta. The Tron even made it to prototype stage – I can feel another post coming on.
Back to the Amiga. Although it never made it past the prototype stage, there was big talk at the time of The Amiga being “The New Lambretta”. I remember reading an article about it (probably in Scootering) and being absolutely horrified – having a real “What the fuck have they done” moment, and thinking it was like a stormtrooper crossed with a Honda Melody. And not in a good way. (The design of the Honda Melody has aged pretty well, actually, but back in the late 80’s, to any Lambretta or Vespa rider the words Honda and Melody were about the worst insults you could throw at a machine). Anyway. I’ve waffled on far too long. There’s some Amiga bits on eBay, here. Basically, a frame (with some bits bolted on – the fuel tank and the rear shock), the forks and front wheel, and the headset, including the distinctive speedo. There’s no bodywork, seat or engine, although I’d imagine a standard Lambretta/Serveta lump would fit.
A final note, I’m pretty sure that when I originally looked, Scooter Restorations had an Amiga speedometer in stock. It’s now showing as “out of stock”. Which begs the question… “Who bought it?” and “Why?” Is someone out there building an Amiga? I’d love to know! If it’s you, please get in touch, I love to know more!
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.
I’ve had this pic knocking around in a folder for a while, shot during the filming of Starsky & Hutch – featuring a Serveta L150 Special in full NYPD livery. I’ve got another one of Huggy Bear fixing a Lambretta somewhere, just got to dig that out…
I’ve posted about a Lambretta holiday before, notably about the Loco Wheels guys who do guided Lambretta tours of Mallorca (check out their website here). But if the Spanish mainland is more your thing, how about Andalucia?
Lambrettours do unique guided scooter tours in southern Spain. The tours are tailored to offer scooter and bike enthusiasts day trips or accommodation package scootering holidays touring and visiting the famous whitewashed villages of this Malaga region.
You ride a vintage Lambretta (see below for the collection) – through stunning scenery and quiet country roads, for a safe and memorable adventure that you’ll never forget.
Your guide will be Lambretta enthusiast Darren – who has owned, rebuilt and maintained various models over the last 3 decades. Darren moved to Spain early 2001 and has mapped the best routes of the region to show you what the area has to offer in terms of gastronomy, wine bodegas, historical towns and areas of outstanding beauty. What are you waiting for?
Spotted this first class scooter on eBay… A Spanish Post Office (Correos) Serveta, quite rare by all accounts. It’s quite a basic model, lacking the indicators of Serveta’s of similar vintage. If Postman Pedro is anything like the ones that drive our little red vans, they never used the indicators anyway. Anyway, it’s much cooler than the push bikes our lot get to ride. Most of these scoots were scrapped after they went out of service, hence the rarity value, and relatively high price for a ‘basic’ Serveta. It doesn’t need my stamp of approval, but I think it’s got an appeal all of it’s own. Here it is on eBay
When asked what the ideal number of Lambrettas to own is, the usual answer is ‘one more than I’ve got’. Spanish-based ex-pat Colin Bunn taken that concept and run with it.
Colin has amassed an absolutely incredible collection of Lambrettas (and associated marques), in what must surely be the world’s largest collection of Lambrettas (unless you know different). Now, due to some unfortunate circumstances, most of the collection will be up for sale…
Here’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
Iain Hannay sent me some fantastic pics of a Model D, that he’s just got running… built in the Eibar factory, in the Spanish Basque country.
Now, I see a fair few Spanish Series 2 Lambrettas these days (much more than I used to, for some reason), and Jet 200’s are getting recognised as very desirable scooters… but I haven’t seen many early open frame models. If any, truth be told.
Iain’s D has some nice period accessories, the legshield extenders, and the spare wheel carrier / rack… and I love that oxblood paint. A cracking little scooter, that looks great in the Spanish sunshine!
I’d love to see any other old Spanish Lambrettas… any Spanish LD’s or Series 1’s out there? And what differentiates them from their Italian cousins?
Jerry from Canada got in touch to see if he could find out more about a scooter he’s discovered on his friend’s father’s estate. It’s in fantastic original condition with just 1200 miles on the clock. He’s given her a tidy up, 3 new tyres and tubes, and it’s been running with all systems seeming to operate properly. The only snag being it would bog with a fully open throttle, he suspects that’s the carb needs a bit of cleaning/adjusting.
He’s going to be putting it up on eBay soon, but if you fancy a rare, original condition Jet 200 drop him a line here before it goes up. Jerry is Fredericton NB, eastern Canada, but will crate and ship elsewhere.UPDATE: The Jet was sold a while ago and now has a new home in Texas.