Lambretta Beanie

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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 better 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 develop a motor scooter - competing on cost and weather protection with the ubiquitous motorcycle.

The primary stimulus of 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 large 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 part of the Alps) and also the Austrian border areas.

Aeronautical engineer General Corradino D'Ascanio, responsible for and construction of the first modern helicopter by Agusta, was handed the duty by Ferdinando Innocenti of designing a simple, robust and affordable vehicle. It had to be easy to drive for both males and females , have the capacity to carry a passenger but not get its driver's clothes soiled.

Design and style
D'Ascanio, who hated motorbikes, created a revolutionary vehicle. This had been built on a spar frame which has a handlebar gear change also , the engine mounted directly onto the back wheel. The front protection "shield" kept the rider dry and clean when compared 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 difficult. The front fork, just like an aircraft's landing gear, allowed for straightforward wheel changing. The interior mesh transmission eliminated the regular motorcycle chain, an origin of dirt and oil. This basic design allowed several features to get deployed concerning the frame which would later allow quick continuing development of new models.

However, General D'Ascanio fell out with Innocenti, who rather than a moulded and beaten spar frame wanted to produce his frame from rolled tubing, allowing him to regenerate 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 producing, the 1947 Lambretta featured a rear pillion seat for a passenger or optionally a storage compartment. The original front protection "shield" was really a flat piece of aero metal; later this developed in to a twin skin allowing additional storage at the 'back of'/behind the front shield, similar to the glove compartment in a car. The fuel cap was under the (hinged) seat which saved the cost of 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 in the late 1960s, the need for motor scooters fell because the small car became available for 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 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, shortage of foresight had caused BLMC to partake in a fashion trend that 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 Beanie

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 essentially the same reasons that Ferdinando Innocenti had built it following the War. India was really a country with poor infrastructure, economically not prepared for small private cars yet having a need for private transport.

Automobile Products of India (API) began assembling Innocenti-built Lambretta scooters in India after independence around the 1950s. They eventually acquired a licence to produce the Li150 Series 2 model, that was sold using 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 entire Innocenti Unit in 1972. API also built the trademark model [API-175] 3 wheeler which had been based upon Innocenti's Lambro. API continued to build Lambretta-derived models till 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 complete Lambretta manufacturing and trademark rights. Former Innocenti employees were utilised to establish an Indian factory as all the manuals and machinery instructions were in Italian. The first scooter built was the Vijay Delux/DL, this was badged the Lambretta GP150 in export markets. This sold poorly on account of build problems and was enhanced to turn into the Vijay Super. Further improvements were produced in the ultimate 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 places of India and sold as the Allwyn Pusphak, Falcon, and Kesri. They were of a lower quality rrn comparison to the SIL produced models and sometimes incorporated significant styling changes.

SIL production seems to have peaked within 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 variety of scooters. [8] [9] There is also an acknowledged export trade in second-hand Lambrettas (and their derivatives), primarily for 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 as well as a 150 cc UNO150.

You can still find 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 occur during weekends across the summer months and also have high attendance, some rallies achieve 2,500 paying rally goers. Throughout the UK there are various 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 Beanie

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