Cool Cats Spotted in Carnaby Street!

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According to Tumblr, where I nicked this image from erm,  found this… this is a picture of Carnaby Street, London, 4th April 1966. It was a photoshoot for opening of new Tomcat Shop. The model Christine Spooner and designer (now property developer) Irvine Sellar. The Lambretta, I think, is a TV175. The cheetah was called Kinna. Rumours that Kinna came from Cheam are unsubstantiated!

Apparently, Tom Jones was also at the shoot. Theres shots with him, Christine, and running down the road with Kinna – but unfortunately I’ve not seen any with him and the TV!

If anyone can think of a better heading for this post, let me know in the comments. I don’t think “Carnaby Street Cheetah” quite cuts it! I’ve ‘tweaked’ one of the suggestions below – added ‘spotted’ because cheetahs have got spots… gettit? Oh, suit yourselves.

From Isabel Costa’s Sixties blog, where there is a ton of stuff on Carnaby Street.


160f68d35debb76a6605d88cf90174feUPDATE: I heard this morning that Irvine Sellar, (the guy in this picture – and owner of a couple of Carnaby Street boutiques) died yesterday. I didn’t know anything about him until I wrote this post, but seems he was quite a character. There’s a good piece here in the Architect’s Journal. RIP.

Silly money?

The price of Lambretta scooters seems to be reaching new heights, as a quick glance at eBay will confirm. A TV175 Series 3, for the best part of £15k, an SX200 for a ‘buy it now’ price of £12k, and an Italian GP for £7,779… All very nice looking scooters… but that’s a lot of your hard earned cash to spend on a scooter.

The first one is, admittedly a beautiful machine, and the only one of the three I’ve seen in the flesh. Restored by the world famous RImini Lambretta Centre… so you know everything will be done to the highest standard. But still… that’s a lot of dosh. Check it out on eBay here.RLC0TV175S3-1RLC0TV175S3-2

The second is another very desirable scooter; a British Registered SX200, in champagne and white, still with it’s original Ken Cobbing seat. Matching frame and engine numbers and original panels and bodywork. Bit still… a little steep at £12K?
Here it is on eBay

EBaySX2009k-1 EBaySX2009k-2 EBaySX2009kIf GP’s are more your thing… there’s a nice, 1969 original Innocenti 200. Restored to a high standard, and looking lovely in yellow ochre. A steal at just £7,779? If it’s for you, here’s the eBay link

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And it’s not just the more desirable models that are getting expensive… here’s a 150 LD going for £4800… something that would have seemed, if not unthinkable, an “ambitious” price, just a few years ago. Here’s the eBay link to the LD

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So, are these machines actually worth these price tags? They’re all very desirable scooters, and look like they’ve been restored to a high standard. So, ultimately, the market will decide. It’s hard to see prices dropping in the future, so a classic Italian scooter may be a good investment, even at these prices. But remember, these machines are always better ridden than hidden.

There are still plenty of more affordable Lambrettas out there, but they may be either less cosmetically attractive, needing some work, or complete ‘projects’. I suppose it’s good news if you already own a Lambretta, or are in a position to buy and restore one… but the downside is it’s getting increasingly difficult for youngsters to get involved in our scene.

Rare Ridgeback, Reduced.

RareRidgeback-4To be honest, I’d never even heard of a “ridgeback” Lambretta before. Luckily it has nothing to do with hard-as-nails Rhodesian dogs, but it’s a rare early TV2. A TV2 that has a weld, or ridge, running down both sides of the frame tube. Apparently this was removed after frame numbers *108… so they’re as rare as the proverbial rocking horse excrement. RareRidgeback-1

This one comes fully loaded with authentic period accessories, and a five digit number plate. It’s just had a grand knocked off the price, hence the headline. And you can buy it on eBay here.

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Here’s that eBay link again.

Vintage Scooter Pics from LIFE

I don’t know exactly what’s doing on here… but there are some clues. Firstly the location is  clearly San Fransisco… and specifically the Golden Gate Bridge. I wonder if any of my US readers remember the Berkley Scooter Shop? On the front of one the TV’s there’s a badge for “Al (Second name unreadable)* San Francisco” is also the pic of Warren Carver… who, his badge is “Road Captain” of the Pioneer Scooter Club, SF. Though I reckon he really wanted to be in the California Highway Patrol… Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (4) 8efb9f3faeba3a50_largeMotor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (2) 87d5af60a7c00277_large 299d58ebc547b539_large 111333d3f3c6f90c_large f84f5c6407c9b509_large Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (1)  Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (3)  Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (5) Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (6) 3aea680563a33803_largeMotor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (8) Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (9) Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (12) Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (13) Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (20) The event looks like some sort of protest… I’m guessing from the pic of the dude on the Vespa, and the signage, it’s something to do with banning motorcycles from certain roads. There’s a couple of pics of people looking at maps trying to figure out alternative routes.

7ba10bfeb2928fc3_largeAnyway, the pics are great, and found over at the LIFE archive, they are by N. R. Farbman and I found them via the Vintage Everyday blog.

*It’s Al Fergoda, thanks for the info, regular contributor Corey, from Scooter Fix! on his Facebook page there is an impressive collection of dealer decal imagery that has a great pic of the Al Fergoda sticker. And from a little bit of internet research it seems Al Fergoda was a big name in North California, back in the day, as well as being a Lambretta dealer, also specialising in BSA, Norton and eventually Yamaha marques.

Pinterested in Lambrettas?

Nice video on YouTube, posted by Pintrest on how creating a Pintrest board of images you like can inspire you. Once you’ve watched the video, you can follow Brandon’s board here, (and follow my Lambretta one if you like). Then, if you like what you see, why not create your own?

Riding Lola. Calm down. She’s a Lambretta.

!&I came across another nice Lambretta blog the other day which is worth a look – Riding Lola is “The Adventures of a 1963 Lambretta TV175 and her current owner”. But the TV is actually Lola 2… Lola 1 was a LD150. The owner, Glen is from Dallas Texas… and his blog features one of the best Lambretta images I’ve seen for a while, Lola next to one of my favourite three-wheelers… the Bond Bug In fact it’s my favourite bike car combo for a while, although it doesn’t ‘match’ the bug quite as well as a Quasarimg_1880
I love the old fella in the shot too… in fact, it could be my grandad… he’s wearing the exact gear my grandad used to… the exact trilby hat and car coat!

Here are some shots of Lola (1) after being restored by Glen. The Dallas skyline makes a nice backdrop on a couple… for more, and to check out Lola 2, visit his blog. It hasn’t been updated for a wee while… but I can empathise with that, sometimes life gets in the way of blogging.
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Another lovely TV175, Series 2 – only 6,000 original miles

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TV 175 Series 2

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Used for two years from new, and then stored… this TV175 has only had one previous owner. It a cracking looking scoot… not fully loaded with accessories like the one I posted the other day, but showing off the original Lambretta lines to the fullest. To be honest, I’d ditch the rear crash bars, I don’t think they add anything, but each to their own. It’s a classified ad, and they want £7,500 for it.
On eBay, here.

Proper Mod TV. And it could be yours.

Mod TV175
So, if you read the Richard Barnes Mod! book that I posted about a few days ago, or you’ve watched Quadrophenia recently, and you’ve decided a Mod Lambretta is the way to go, IMHO you couldn’t do much worse that buying this little beauty, a fully loaded, chromed and accessorised TV175. The secret, again, in my ever so humble opinion, is taste. Knowing when to stop. Knowing exactly what accessories (absolutely period perfect of course) to include, and what to leave off. And if these pics are ringing any bells, it may be that you’ve either seen the scoot in the flesh, or in one of the articles about it in Scootering. It’s even been a cover star on that esteemed publication.
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Read the eBay description for the full story of this cracker, read the Mods! book, Check out my Scooterist Miscellany links for clobber and the like, and you’ll be the big wheel on the scene, making all the other cats look like third-class tickets.

If your interested, there’s a load more pics and information over on eBay. Here’s the link

Ancillotti Brothers TV225 conserved restoration

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 10.20.43This is my third post about the work of The Rimini Lambretta Centre. I make no apologies for this, they produce first class work, and they are the acknowledged experts in the fine art of the “conserved restoration”. Coupled with there usually being an interesting story behind the work, and some great images, it’s a no brainer. So, on with the post, and what we have here is another fantastic job, on a small, but important piece of Lambretta history.
Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 10.22.20Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 10.23.04The owner, Marcello Taglialegne, picked up this machine, in a really sorry state, at a parts fair. Some nifty homework confirmed the sellers’ story that it was an Ancillotti original, and, although the bodywork was in a bad way, with a massive crack at the rear section of the frame, and the engine was missing, it was decide that this scooter MUST be saved! A ton of work was done. This included sourcing a NOS 200cc engine as originally used by the Ancillotti brothers, and a hand-made inlet manifold to house the unfeasibly large Dell’Orto that sticks out the side of this scoot like Satchmo’s horn. The other thing that draws your eye straight away on this unique Lambretta is the front mudguard, which looks like it’s on backwards! A point of ‘heated debate’ in the RLC workshop, it was the way Ancillotti originally did it, so it was going on like that. I kind of like it, and have certainly never seen anything like it before.Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 10.24.49But my favourite part of this scoot is the seat. What a seat. Original to the scooter, and recovered, it sets the whole scoot of beautifully. The first time I ever heard the word Ancillotti was in relation to scooter seats (back in the day, it was that or a “Snetterton”) and this is the daddy of all Ancillotti racing seats. I want one like that!Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 10.22.48Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 10.26.47

For the full story of all the painstaking, period correct work that was carried out, and it’s quite a saga, but a good read; see the RLC website. There’s lots more pics of this fascinating scooter on there too.

Made in Taiwan

The following is thanks to my online pal Corey, of Ottawa, Ontario’s ScooterFix, who originally got material from the equally excellent British Lambretta Archive:9102_10151735002568901_1010994108_nRegular readers of the Lambrettista blog will know I like an exotic Lambretta. The original Italian Innocenti’s are something special, obviously, and over recent years Indian machines have become first acceptable, then desirable in Lambretta circles. France still has a huge amount of French manufactured LC’s & LD’s on the road and the German NSU Lambretta’s have their aficionados. I’ve written about Brazilian Lambrettas before, and briefly on the Argentinian Siambretta when I posted about this amazing Model D twin. What I didn’t know a lot about, until I read Corey’s original post a while back was the Chinese connection. Well, Taiwan, but this little Island off of the People’s Republic of China still officially calls itself The Republic of China. Although, perhaps wisely considering the size and power of their neighbour, The ROC has not made the retaking of mainland China (which it still considers it’s sovereign territory), a political goal since 1992. 971776_10151735002443901_506253119_nAnyway. Back to the Lambrettas. In 1962 a technical agreement had been signed between Innocenti and the Yue Long Motor Co Ltd, of Taipei. It is not known if Yue Long manufactured complete scooters or just put together component parts. It is known that the Series 3 TV 175 were made by Yue Long and these came with a chrome ring. As with the Italian models, these were available with both Li and Special style panels. The frame numbers are distinctive in that they start with the prefix YLL, a dash then 175TV3 another dash – and then an 8 digit frame number. In terms of paint schemes we have seen photos of the Li panelled TVs in white with contrast colours on the horn cast and side panels and the Special panelled TV’s in silver.

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No, it’s not a swastika with a missing leg – Yue Long stamped their products with a three legged symbol – similar to the Manx three legged symbol inside a circle.1098147_10151735002438901_2116505521_nThe Yue Long Lambretta factory produced scooters in a huge plant. Rows of scooters have been completed, waiting for shipping.968875_10151735002588901_395370195_nVarious publicity shots show visiting foreign dignitary’s being shown around the factory,  Including The Central African Republic President Bo Kasa. History doesn’t record whether he took the Yue Long Lambretta Cento back to Africa with him!59619_10151735002663901_382444167_nDominican Vice President Gao Yi Ge also visited…and apparently personally test rode the Lambrettas. Well, who could blame him?547127_10151735102018901_1920120817_nTaiwan’s postmen were some of the coolest around, riding a fleet of green liveried TV’s!

So, are you a resident of Taiwan? I know they blog has readers in the ROC (132 views from Taiwan before this post)! Are there still any Yue Long Lambrettas still around? If there are…or if your mum or dad had a Lambretta (maybe he was a postman!) get in touch and show me, and the Lambretta world, the pics!

UPDATE: I have found this Facebook Group for all Lambretta scooter enthusiasts in Taiwan and their friends, and for owners of Lambrettas that were manufactured in Taiwan. Some great pics on there!