Classic Lambretta Part 1: Start of a long journey

As any owner of a classic vehicle knows, keeping it in a roadworthy condition can be a time consuming and costly undertaking – there is always something that needs doing.

My journey began in 1985 when at age 17, I bought myself a Lambretta TV200 scooter.

Also known and badged as the GT200, the Lambretta TV200 was the first 200cc scooter from Italian manufacturer Innocenti.

Originally intended only for the UK market, a few TV200s did find their way to other countries including the USA. Production of the TV / GT200 ran from 1963 to 1965.

Mine is a 1965 model for which I paid £175 in March 1985.

After jumping through the necessary hoops with DVLA to have the scooter re registered on the system, I eventually got the Lambretta on the road. Being only a learner rider at the time, this also meant having to reduce the scooter’s engine capacity down to 125cc by fitting a restrictor kit in order to be road legal.

I soon discovered how frustratingly unreliable Lambrettas can be if neglected and not maintained properly. Mine had suffered just such a fate prior to my ownership. On an apprentice vehicle mechanic’s wage at that time, the cost of parts and the time spent remedying the constant breakdowns dampened my enjoyment of riding the scooter.

Eventually completely fed up with the Lambretta’s unreliability, I bought myself a Vespa PX scooter in 1986 on which I subsequently passed my motorcycle test later that year. In the meantime, the Lambretta languished in my shed, disused and neglected though not forgotten. But I never considered selling it.

Throughout the nineteen nineties, I did various repairs and improvements to the Lambretta. I attended several scooter rallies on it in the late eighties and early nineties and even took my then future wife out as a pillion passenger on the scooter in the late nineties, doing regular rides out with a local scooter club.

However, I never quite came to trust the GT’s reliability. It was always not quite right. By year 2000, I had other priorities and interests and didn’t have the time or inclination to be riding the scooter anymore. Once again, the GT fell into disuse…

Until 2009
To be continued…

Classic Lambretta Part 2: Restoration. Read more…