As we’ve posted previously, 2014 is the 50th anniversary of the Arthur Francis (aka AF) S-type dealer special Lambretta scooters.
As a result of said posts published on Scooternova, Chris Wylde contacted us to tell us a little about the original 250cc S-type he bought back in 1967; a certain TJH 25D.
For those with a forgetful mind, we previewed the anniversary in January, saw some at the VMSC Show in March and at Whitby at Easter, and of course also attended the 50th Anniversary Event itself at AF Rayspeed in August of this year.
Anyway, it was from one of these posts that featured the 1960s cover of Practical Scooter magazine that Chris recognised his old bike, TJH 25D. He told us, “I was also once a proud owner of this Arthur Francis Special. I purchased the scooter from Arthur Francis August 1967. It was Ken Peters who sold it to me.”
This Lambretta was pretty well-known at the time, as both an experimental bike for the Arthur Francis scooter shop in Watford, and also as the machine upon which Arthur Francis employee Ken Peters broke the London to Milan scooter riding record in 1967.
Featuring a few ‘AF trick bits’ the Lambretta was eventually sold on after its short but highly eventful celebrity career, and Chris was the lucky new owner.
Chris told us, “At 18 years old I didn’t really appreciate the spec of the Lambretta I was buying. I first saw TJH 25D in the window at Watford, all covered in dirt and thinking ‘who would want to buy that!’ I also had a copy of the March edition of Practical Scooter with the photo on the front cover… Then I put 2 and 2 together. Next the bike was in the window all cleaned up and pristine. That’s when I fell in love with it – and it was certainly a step up from the Lambretta Cento 100cc I was riding!”
Note in the photos above taken in Watford, you can see the TV200 in the shop window that featured on another Practical Scooter later on in 1967.
Anyway, back to Chris; “In August 1967 my girlfriend of the day went to visit family in Johnstone, Glasgow for a week and I was invited too. She went up by coach, I followed on a Saturday on the Lambretta, stopping overnight with a cousin at York, then off to Glasgow on the Sunday. I did the return trip the following weekend.
“While in Scotland we rode up to the Lochs and round Loch Lomond. Also a day’s outing to Edinburgh.
Chris continues; “I pasted the relevant bits of the magazine into a scrap-book which I still cherish.I have even found my old log book I had when I recorded fuel, journeys and repairs. Great days.”
Back into riding again a few years ago and now the owner of a Kawasaki ZZR 600, Chris adds it would be great to get in touch with the current owner and while current DVLA and insurance database records suggest it’s no longer around, there is of course a slim chance that it could be resting, forgotten inside a dark shed somewhere. Just maybe…