Posted on 21/09/2005 at 10:50

Original condition

Original condition
Here is how I finally bought this wreck :
everything started on Wednesday February 2nd 2000, when a friend of mine, Laurent (my official mechanics reference! Thanks Die Capricieuse...), gives me a ring. We discuss about different things (well, mainly VW stuff, actually!), then he tells me about a friend of him who sells a Lambretta LD around Antibes (where I live), if I know someone interested by it...

And you guessed it, I am interested, as I just love those vintage bubble shaped scooters, nothing to do with the aggressive design of nowadays cheap plastic ones...

Plus, this one is a Grand Luxe model, not a lot of them were built around 1956 (in France, but 8.694 were built from February to December 1954 in Italy). They were designed for womens : this is why it's equipped with an electric starter and a battery...

So! Saturday, February 5th, I meet the beast owner (Olivier, thanks for your kindness), and we make a deal for 600 Francs (more or less 90 euros). Here are the very first pictures of the scooter, which is not in such a bad condition as a first glance would let you think!
The monster is back into my garage! First short list of missing parts :
  • the two rear body panels.
  • cooling housing around the cylinder.
  • speedometer and clock on the dashboard.
  • fuel tap and its command extension
  • the second, rear saddle (and the leather on the first!)
  • the electric starter, replaced by a kick.

Anyway, this electric starter wasn't a real success, the battery kept discharging, and it obliged to remove the kick... So pushing the scooter was the only solution left to start the engine! icone smiley laugh

Interestingly, in the middle of the dashboard, there's an amp-meter... And in the gloves box : a little beveled mirror! Yes, this definitely was a scooter for girls!icone smiley wink

The fuel tank does not appear but I got it!
Apart from that, and in opposition with what you would have thought watching at those pictures, it's still in a pretty good condition, the metal being very thick, with only some superficial rust... And a lot of period pine needles! (the air filter was full of it!)
Let's have a closer look at the mechanics : a good surprise actually!

The engine is seized. I was affraid to find all the lower-end rusted... But no! The piston was only seized into the cylinder...

The combustion chamber looks clean, absolutely no rust there! Actually, the while engine was in a grease cocoon, a real mess to clean, but it protected it from time and rust!
I've started cleaning the carburetor, it's like new under the dust... Plus, I learned that all the parts are available as replicas, for very affordable prices. And you know what, the Lambretta Club de France's guy who is in charge of the spare parts live only 5 minutes driving from my place!
Here it is! Just to tell you a bit more about this model, it's a 125cc two-strokes engine, Dell'Orto carbie, with a 3 gears gearbox. Rear brake on the right foot, there was a smaller pedal on the left to activate the electric starter. Gear selection with the left handle, clutch on the left, front brake on the right, just like today's two wheelers.

The Lambretta engine are said to be very resistant, though it's Italian... Well, wait and see!
More to come real soon!
Posted in : 1956 Lambretta
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