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.
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.
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!).