The First Lambretta Museum

As I type this blog I know that in a perfect world I should really be riding my classic Lambretta home from Devon, which is where the Mike Karslake Memorial Rally was due to take place this weekend.
Unfortunately of course, 2020 has become an uncertain and rather unpleasant year for all, so instead I’m reminiscing and thinking of tomorrow … and the day after that.

In edition 19 of ScooterNova magazine we were privileged to have a few of Mike Karslake’s former Lambretta scooters featured on our pages. Mike was an enthusiastic Lambretta rider that saw him not only ride socially but compete on the Isle of Man in the 1950s and 60s on them, and then later start collecting the old scooters when few others were interested in them.

In the 1980s he moved from his home in Essex and together with wife Rachael settled in Devon where he set about creating the first purpose built Lambretta museum in the world. Sadly Mike passed away in 1990, but 30 years on his name has legendary status amongst Lambretta riders, especially those in the UK.

The timing of the articles was deliberate to help the organisers promote their event, which we are keeping our fingers crossed that it was only postponed rather than cancelled. The scooters featured included a 1950s Lambretta Li that Mike loaned to the BBC for their television sitcom Citizen Smith. It was the transport for lead character ‘Wolfie’ Smith, played by actor Robert Lindsey.

The other scooters from Mike’s original collection that appeared in ScooterNova magazine were a couple of rare three-wheelers. Once was a blue truck he restored and used for the Lambretta Preservation Society. The other was a Fire Engine that had been on display at Southend Airport for a short while.

While the event is on hold, edition 19 of ScooterNova magazine is available and can be purchased individually or as part of an annual subscription direct from our online shop for delivery to your home.

* ScooterNova is an independent scooter magazine, produced by scooterists for scooterists. ScooterNova is printed in the UK and sold via mail-order and through scooter shops around the world. For further information and subscription details please visit our website at