The Innocenti Lambretta Factory – from Specials to J range

We love looking at old scooter factory images because A) we love old scooters, and B) they can often reveal a few extra details that scooter anoraks (like us!) find REALLY interesting.
Take this photograph here for example, from circa 1965 we reckon. For a start, it’s a wonderful snapshot of Lambretta production lines in Milan during the mid-1960s, both the beginning and the end by the looks of it. But there’s more…

Innocenti factory, Milan, Italy.
Innocenti factory, Milan, Italy.

On the far left we have a Lambretta Li finished in white (or similar), and there are a few more on the production line too.
Also rolling off the line are what appear to be Silver Special Lambrettas – well that’s our conclusion based on what we can make out from the legshield badge and the shade of paint in this black and white photograph. Presuming this photograph shows a production line which has continued non-stop from start to finish, it’s interesting to learn that the Innocenti assembly line could apparently therefore flow unbroken from one similar model to another. Yes the assembly process for all Slimstyle models would have been the same, but aside from rear suspension, petrol tank, toolbox and trim, little else would have been fitted across both models. The engines were different, the painted bodywork too, as well as parts like the headlight. This would have meant the assembly line workers keeping an eye on things to make certain that the right parts went on the right models, and could also explain a few of the (rare) anomalies we see today!
Finally, in the background, amongst the various scooter parts being carried along via the automated conveyor systems, you can see a J-range frame, presumably on its way from the paint booth to the beginning of the relevant assembly line to begin the process of transformation from metal pieces into a proper motor scooter!

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