Lambretta Electronic Ignition

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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. During 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 they would produce a motor scooter - competing on cost and weather protection with the ubiquitous motorcycle.

The principal 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 get around Nazi defence tactics of destroying roads and bridges in the Dolomites (a section of the Alps) and also 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 presented with the duty by Ferdinando Innocenti of designing a simple, robust and affordable vehicle. It needed to be easy to drive for both ladies and men , be capable to carry a passenger but not get its driver's clothes soiled.

The style and design
D'Ascanio, who hated motorbikes, created a revolutionary vehicle. It was built on a spar frame which includes a handlebar gear change and the engine mounted directly onto the rear 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 designed for women, as wearing dresses or skirts made riding conventional motorcycles quite a job. The front fork, like an aircraft's landing gear, allowed for quick wheel changing. The interior mesh transmission eliminated standard motorcycle chain, a source of oil and dirt. This basic design allowed many features to end up being deployed relating to the frame that would later allow quick growth and development of new models.

However, General D'Ascanio fell out with Innocenti, who as opposed to a moulded and beaten spar frame originally planned to produce his frame from rolled tubing, allowing him to revive both areas 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
Taking a year longer to develop, the 1947 Lambretta featured a rear pillion seat for a passenger or optionally a storage compartment. The initial front protection "shield" was a flat piece of aero metal; later this developed into a twin skin to allow additional storage at the 'back of'/behind the front shield, similar to the glove compartment in a car. The fuel cap was beneath the (hinged) seat which saved the cost 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 the factory, Innocenti started manufacturing the Lambretta scooters in 1947 - the year after 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 through the late 1960s, the need for motor scooters fell mainly because the small car became available to lots more people and Lambretta did start to struggle financially as did parent Innocenti. The British Leyland Motor Corporation took advantage of Innocenti's financial difficulties along with their production and engineering expertise and contracted Innocenti to create cars under licence from BLMC. The Innocenti Mini used the mechanical elements of the original but was in a number of ways superior to it.

Innocenti/Lambretta was eventually sold to BLMC. Unfortunately, lack of foresight had caused BLMC to take part in a fashion trend that was 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 Electronic Ignition

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 following the War. India was really a country with poor infrastructure, economically not ready 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, this was sold under the Lambretta Series 2 name until about 1976 and at a later point 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 based upon Innocenti's Lambro. API continued to produce Lambretta-derived models till the 1980s but have most certainly been non-operational since 2002.

In 1972, Scooters India Ltd. (SIL) a state-run enterprise situated in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, bought the complete Lambretta manufacturing and trademark rights. Former Innocenti employees were chosen to setup an Indian factory as all of the manuals and machinery instructions were in Italian. The 1st scooter built was the Vijay Delux/DL, this was badged the Lambretta GP150 in export markets. This sold poorly as a result of build problems and was enhanced becoming the Vijay Super. Further improvements were produced in the final years of production by incorporating a contemporary Japanese CDI unit and an advanced front suspension. SIL also distributed CKDs which were assembled in a variety of parts of India and sold as the Allwyn Pusphak, Falcon, and Kesri. These were of a lower quality as opposed to 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 to around 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 because of the Lambretta engine. SIL also produces limited spares for the GP/DL range of scooters. [8] [9] There's also a well established export trade in second-hand Lambrettas (and their derivatives), primarily to the UK market.

In 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 in addition to a 150 cc UNO150.

You can still find clubs across Europe as well as the UK, both national and local clubs, dedicated to the Lambretta scooter. The clubs still participate and organize ride outs and rallies which regularly occur during weekends during the summertime and still have high attendance, some rallies achieve 2,500 paying rally goers. Across the UK there are various privately owned scooter shops which deal with everything Lambretta, from sales, services, parts, tuning, performance as well as nut and bolt restorations.

(Artical taken from wiki and spun)

Lambretta Electronic Ignition

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