What was your first Lambretta?

SN20_jIf you’ve not seen the latest edition 20 of ScooterNova magazine yet, one of the most popular features inside seems to be the overview of the Lambretta J-range, the smallframe rivals to the little Vespas from Piaggio.

Apart from the history of the model from development and through production, the  article looks at the growing popularity of the J-range and differences between models as well as things prospective buyers and builders might want to look out for.

AG_cento_old_loAndy’s Cento back on the late 80s. He has since replaced that gaffer tape seat cover!

As owners of J-range Lambrettas ourselves here at ScooterNova (Andy got his Cento back in the late 1980s), we have some first hand knowledge of the machines ourselves. we also spoke with some J experts too, picking the brains of Dean Orton (formerly RLC), Carlos at Swiss Tony’s and Paul at Scooter Restorations. Their input on everything from the CP One35 kits to Indian machines and buying advice is invaluable, and together with some wonderful archive material from Vittorio Tessera among others gives an in-depth look at the often neglected baby Lambrettas.

Js 4 pages spreads

And yes, while some may mock, the ‘Baby’ name was officially bestowed upon at least one J-range model, even if only momentarily…

Cento_Block Sheet crop

What’s also proved interesting is the number of readers who have subsequently contacted us to say that their first Lambretta – sometimes their first scooter – was a Lambretta J-range of one type or another.

So while the humble Lambretta J-range has long been ridiculed in the UK in particular, it is actually an important part of the rich scooter history of Europe and indeed the world. It helped mobilise the 14 to 16-year-old youths of Italy, was produced in at least three countries around the globe and provided a first step to scooter and Lambretta ownership for many an aspiring teen in good old Blighty as well.

Aquabretta_Bedofrd_copyLambretta Concessionaires employee Dougie Bedford takes a modified J-range ‘Amphi-Scooter’ for a paddle during the 60s.

So with their popularity on a steady increase, expect to see more J-ranges out and about once things return to what we scooterists used to call ‘normal’. And with more and more upgraded parts available or in development, don’t be surprise if you get overtaken by one either. If you’ve got edition 20 of ScooterNova magazine, at least you’ll what it was and why!

As for edition 20 – while we’re certainly not complaining, it seems that the lockdown and other circumstances has seen an increase in ScooterNova subscribers and as result a number of the more recent editions are selling fast so our advice is order your copy now before it’s too late. You can do that via our secure online shop here for delivery direct too your home.
If you prefer to subscribe via Direct Debit, click here to sign up.

As for your first scooter, feel free to tell us what it was and share pictures here too if you want.

Edition 20 of ScooterNova magazine

* 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 www.scooternova.com