Lambretta J 50

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Lambretta J 50 on amazon

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Useful info about the History of the Lambretta

In 1922, Ferdinando Innocenti of Pescia built a steel-tubing factory in Rome. In 1931, he took this company to Milan where he built a larger factory producing seamless steel tubing and employing about 6,000. Throughout the Second World War, the factory was heavily bombed and destroyed. It is said that surveying the ruins, Innocenti saw the future of cheap, private transport and decided to develop a motor scooter - competing on cost and weather protection with the ubiquitous motorcycle.

The main stimulus for the design style of the Lambretta and Vespa goes back to Pre-WWII Cushman scooters made in Nebraska, USA. These olive green scooters were in Italy in huge numbers, ordered originally by Washington as field transport for the Paratroops and Marines. The United States military had used these to Nazi defence tactics of destroying roads and bridges in the Dolomites (a section of the Alps) plus the Austrian border areas.

Aeronautical engineer General Corradino D'Ascanio, in charge of the design and construction of the first modern helicopter by Agusta, was given the duty by Ferdinando Innocenti of designing a simple, robust and affordable vehicle. It had to be simple to drive for both men and women , be capable of carry a passenger without having it get its driver's clothes soiled.

The design
D'Ascanio, who hated motorbikes, designed a revolutionary vehicle. It was built on a spar frame which has a handlebar gear change and the engine mounted directly onto the back wheel. The front protection "shield" kept the rider dry and clean in comparison to the open front-end on motorcycles. The pass-through leg area design was aimed at women, as wearing dresses or skirts made riding conventional motorcycles quite a job. The front fork, like an aircraft's landing gear, allowed for straightforward wheel changing. The interior mesh transmission eliminated the standard motorcycle chain, an origin of dirt and oil. This basic design allowed many features to end up being deployed concerning the frame which would later allow quick advancement of new models.

However, General D'Ascanio fell out with Innocenti, who rather than a moulded and beaten spar frame desired to produce his frame from rolled tubing, allowing him to bring back both the different parts of his prewar company. General D'Ascanio disassociated himself with Innocenti and took his design to Enrico Piaggio who produced the spar-framed Vespa from 1946 on.

Into production
Going for a year longer to create, the 1947 Lambretta featured a rear pillion seat for a passenger or optionally a storage compartment. The original front protection "shield" was a flat section of aero metal; later this developed into a twin skin to allow additional storage at the 'back of'/behind the leading shield, just like the glove compartment in a vehicle. The fuel cap was under the (hinged) seat which saved the expense associated with an additional lock for the fuel cap or need for additional metal work on the smooth skin.

Deriving the name Lambretta from the small river Lambro in Milan, which ran near to the factory, Innocenti started construction the Lambretta scooters in 1947 - one year afterwards Piaggio started production of its Vespa models. Lambrettas were manufactured under licence in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, India and Spain, sometimes under other names but always to a recognizable design (e.g. Siambretta in South America and Serveta in Spain).

BLMC closure of Innocenti
As wealth increased in Western Europe during the late 1960s, the need for motor scooters fell mainly because the small car became available to more people and Lambretta started to struggle financially as did parent Innocenti. The British Leyland Motor Corporation took advantage of Innocenti's financial hardships along with their production and engineering expertise and contracted Innocenti to produce cars under licence from BLMC. The Innocenti Mini used the mechanical components of the initial but was in plenty of different ways more advanced than it.

Innocenti/Lambretta was eventually sold to BLMC. Unfortunately, deficiency of foresight had caused BLMC to partake in a fashion trend which had been ending rapidly. Long industrial strikes in BLMC ensued; motor-scooter sales took a nosedive, and both Innocenti and Lambretta shut up shop in 1972.

Lambretta J 50

Automobile Products of India / Scooters India Ltd Industry Scooter
Founded 1972
Headquarters Bombay / Lucknow, India
Products Lambretta, Lamby, Vijay, Vikram, Lambro
Website Scooters India

The Indian government bought the factory for fundamentally the same reasons that Ferdinando Innocenti had built it after the War. India was really a country with poor infrastructure, economically not prepared for small private cars yet having a demand for private transport.

Automobile Products of India (API) began assembling Innocenti-built Lambretta scooters in India after independence during the 1950s. They eventually acquired a licence to produce the Li150 Series 2 model, that was sold under the Lambretta Series 2 name until about 1976 and at a later time changed the name to Lamby for legal reasons as Scooter India Ltd acquired the whole Innocenti Unit in 1972. API also built the trademark model [API-175] 3 wheeler that was influenced by Innocenti's Lambro. API continued to produce Lambretta-derived models until the 1980s but have been non-operational since 2002.

In 1972, Scooters India Ltd. (SIL) a state-run enterprise operating out of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, bought the whole Lambretta manufacturing and trademark rights. Former Innocenti employees were utilised to set up an Indian factory as all of the manuals and machinery instructions were in Italian. The first scooter built was the Vijay Delux/DL, that was badged the Lambretta GP150 in export markets. This sold poorly as a result of build problems and was enhanced to become the Vijay Super. Further improvements were manufactured in the ultimate years of production by incorporating a contemporary Japanese CDI unit and a sophisticated front suspension. SIL also distributed CKDs which were assembled in numerous parts of India and sold as the Allwyn Pusphak, Falcon, and Kesri. They were of a lower quality compared to the SIL produced models and sometimes incorporated significant styling changes.

SIL production seems to have peaked in the financial year 1980-1981, with around 35,000 scooters being built. However by 1987 this had dropped close to 4,500 units with production finally ceasing in 1997. As of 2010 S.I.L.'s production now centres on the Vikram 3-wheeler, powered by way of the Lambretta engine. SIL also produces limited spares for the GP/DL selection of scooters. [8] [9] There is also an established export trade in second-hand Lambrettas (and their derivatives), primarily for the UK market.

Within the U . S ., Scooters India Ltd licensed the Khurana Group USA LLC to manufacture and distribute scooters under the Lambretta brand. The first release in 2008 were rebadged Adly models [10] of contemporary design, including a 49 cc DUE50, a 49 cc UNO50 as well as a 150 cc UNO150.

There are still clubs across Europe along with the UK, both national and local clubs, dedicated to the Lambretta scooter. The clubs still participate and organize ride outs and rallies which regularly take place during weekends over the summer season and get high attendance, some rallies achieve 2,500 paying rally goers. Across the UK there are plenty of privately owned scooter shops which deal with everything Lambretta, from sales, services, parts, tuning, performance and complete nut and bolt restorations.

(Artical taken from wiki and spun)

Lambretta J 50

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