The Arthur Francis Manhatten (aka Manhattan)

Arthur Francis 1967 brochure.


As we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the AF S-Type scooter this year, it’s only fair that we give a little mention to its lesser known stable-mate, the Manhattan.For those that didn’t know, Arthur Francis Scooters Ltd of Watford were not just Lambretta dealers. They also sold Vespa scooters amongst others, and in fact Arthur also had a Fiat dealership at the other end of the High Street too, but that’s another story.

af manhattan
Arthur Francis 1967 brochure.

Anyway, the shop was doing well with the S-Type Lambretta dealer special so it made sense to apply a little of their magic to the Vespa range and increase sales of those too.

The Vespa SS180 was ripe for the AF treatment, the engine being increased to 206cc (although referred to and badged as a 200), an optimistic 100mph fitted along with a few  accessories too and an additional colour added to the body resulting in a two-tone paint effect.

AF 1967 brichure.
AF 1967 br0chure.

And if you bought a new Vespa SS180 from Arthur Francis in 1967, then all this was free (although no doubt the sales staff would likely have suggested that the optional 12 volt conversion was worth investing in too!).

6 thoughts on “The Arthur Francis Manhatten (aka Manhattan)

  1. I wonder if there are still any of these still knocking about? Any SS Vespa is pretty desirable these days, an AF Manhatten would be doubly so I would have thought.

  2. My wife has a 1966 SS180, original red with chrome panels, original 100mph speedo, first reg by Arthur Francis, thinking it may be a Manhattan

  3. I have what is reportedly a 1969 manhatten.
    its been in scootering.
    if you need any info please feel free to contact me.
    regards, Mick

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