A few days ago we brought you an old advert from 1981 of the API Lamby scooter and Mac 175S, and prior to that an article about
scooters in India along with the perils of buying a restoration blind over the internet.
Since then we’ve had a couple of people asking about the Mac 175S, so here is some more information.
The Mac 175S was introduced around the mid-70s by API and was offered as an alternative to those who had earlier ordered the more basic Lamby 150 scooter and were still waiting.
You may notice that we’ve not used the word Lambretta, and that is because in 1972 Scooters India Ltd purchased both the Lambretta brand name and tooling from Innocenti of Italy to produce the dl/ Grand Prix and Junior range of Lambretta scooters in India. API therefore could no longer use the Lambretta brand name which they had been licencing since the 1950s for production of Lambretta scooters in India, and so the Li 150 Series 2 that they were currently manufacturing became the Lamby 150.
The Mac 175S cost a little more than the Lamby 150, had a large black tail light and black metal stripes on the side panels with the Mac 175 badges which helped differentiate it from the Lamby 150. Apparently named after API founder MA Chidambaram, it also had a 175cc engine, front fork dampers and chrome plated parts, all helping justify the extra cost of this luxury model.
Production numbers aren’t known, neither is how long it lasted, but we do know that outside of India this scooter is quite rare. Even if it doesn’t have a Lambretta badge.