Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? No, this is not a story about the A-Team, but the further history of a rather famous Lambretta S-Type from Arthur Francis Scooters Ltd in Watford, Herts.
The scooter pictured on the front cover of Practical Scooter & Moped in March 1967 has a fair bit of history, including breaking the record from London to Milan that stood until the 1990s.
It was a ‘dealer special’ scooter built by Arthur Francis Ltd of Watford to promote the shop’s expertise at modernising a Lambretta, both cosmetically and mechanically.
We’ve reported on it before; you can read about it here and about the Lambretta S-Type’s 50th anniversary event here.
Back in November, Chris Wylde contacted us to tell us about his ownership of TJH 25D, which he bought from Arthur Francis Scooters Ltd in the St Albans Road in Watford.
Then, last week, Mary Hyde contacted us and sent us this wonderful photo of her father, Michael Hyde pictured on the same Lambretta in Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, aged 16 in 1971.
We presume Michael was the next owner after Chris, but unfortunately Mary’s father passed away a few years ago, so we can’t be certain of this or what spec the scooter was in when he bought it. Looking at this photo though it’s still wearing it’s ‘250’ badges (the engine capacity also suggested by the number plate Arthur managed to obtain for it back in 1966!), although the seat has been changed and possibly the contrasting paint colour too.
With many thanks again to Mary for supplying the information and photograph, we wonder if there are any more previous owners of TJH 25D out there who can fill us in of the further history of this Lambretta scooter?
AF S-Type 50th anniversary event.
The AF Rayspeed shop today, where they still produce the S-Type Lambretta.
4 thoughts on “Lambretta AF S-Type TJH 25D – the history continues!”
Hi Mick Hyde was one of my best mate’s at the time this pic was taken,& I have found a posting he made some years ago on the LCGB forum,It tells more of the history of this bike as below:-(I downloaded it as it mentioned my scoot)
No, I wasn’t really aware of the bikes fame.
I would love to see more photos.
I have one photo on my pc of it next to a friends lambretta with ape hangers but I dont know how to host photos.
I would be happy to send it to a forum member and I have already sent it to one whose name I cant remember.
Can I email it to you and you post it?
As to any other history, you have to remember that it was 35 years ago
As I remember it and as I have part posted on the AF s Type 150 thread,
I bought it in 1971 maybe 70.
I was 16 in June 71 and me and some of my friends bought bikes as soon as we could.
I paid £100 and my first wage packet was £5.40. My dad leant me the money which at the time was quite a lot.
I bought it from a really cool Mod (they were all cool to me) called Steve Rose. We both lived in Wheathampstead Herts.
Most of Steves mates bikes were all mirrored up with fury bits and chrome but this bike was a bit more understated apart from the 250 badge and the stupid air horns on the front.
When I got it, it had a 225 engine fitted which I was told came from a TV (not sure).
It was Nuffield Green (by the way, sorry if I am repeating myself) which was the green on the Lotus Cortina stripe (I think) and white.
From memory, I think it had fairly standard carb. Some of my friends had 32mm Deloto’s and Amals.
We all used to tkae the barrels off and attempt to polish the ports although we never knew what we were doing.
Mine was a pig to start and I remember having to bump it all the time.
I was lucky that I lived on a hill.
It had a spare wheel (which came in handy on my test) and a small rack behind the seat.
I took my test in St Albans where my dad was a postman and knew everyone.
When I left the test centre he was talking to the examiner
During the test, I got a puncture and the examiner told me that I would have to reapply and he went off. I got on with changing the wheel and he shortly came back and passed me (good old dad).
We all used Ancilotti exhausts and I think I had a small bore which I took to the local blacksmith where we cut it in half, took out all the baffles and welded it back together. My mum and dad could hear me coming from nearly 2 miles away.
ANother friend had an AF 225, one had an SX200, one had a Tv175 (and one leg) and the most amazing one was a bit of a mish mash. I cant remember what fram it had, but it had an Ariel head stock and ape hanger bars. I was also the quickest bike arounf. Nothing could beat it and we never knew why. I remember once, when we were in Luton, I was riding pillion and we pulled alongside a GP200 which was also 2 up. The GP was clearly flat out and we just left him behind like a star trek starship (just unreal).
Other friends bought Jap 250’s a Suzuki Hustler, Yam 250 and one had a Kawazaki which I think was a 3 cylinder, they were just so fast!
Our worst fear was coming across the Stopsley (Luton) greasers, which happened one day in Harpenden. We got spat at and they tried to kick us off our bikes, we were like plebs being attacked by gladiators.
Didn’t come to blows though, we ran away
If I think of any more, I will post it.
Sorry if I bored you but it takes me back to good times.
He resprayed the Nuffield green, a maroon colour & sold it in 1972.
I was the owner of the bike with the ape hanger handlebars.
Hope this is of interest to you.
Thank you very much for posting this, fantastic update on the story!!