Arthur Francis – a true scooter legend

Arthur Francis (centre) with the Ronald brothers who both raced for him in the 1960s.

The name Arthur Francis has become legendary amongst scooterists around the world, and deservedly so. From humble beginnings working for a scooter shop in Watford, Hertfordshire, to setting up his own scooter shop (Lambretta and Vespa dealership) along with a Fiat car showroom too, Arthur is often associated with the S-Type Lambretta dealer special.

Arthur watches one of his S-Type Lambretta being ‘tested’.

While this was arguably the most successful dealer special the emerge from the doors of his Watford shops, it wasn’t he only one produced there, with other Lambretta and Vespa versions also created in an attempt to sell more scooters than rival establishments. That today the S-type is remembered, revered and copied by more than any other shop’s dealer special of the day days something about how right the S-type was.

Arthur (crouched) fettling a Lambretta before an off-road scramble at Elstead Common, Surrey, in 1962.

We paid tribute to Arthur, who sadly passed away earlier this year, in the brand new edition 25 of ScooterNova magazine. The article includes a number of old photos from friends, colleagues and acquaintances of Arthur’s, some rarely seen or possibly never seen like this before.

Not a great photo admittedly, but number 31 is Arthur in action at Elstead Common, 1962.

These range from early photos of the shop to the testing of a S-Type, the rare;y seen Trackster as well as Arthur in sporting action. We used as many as we could, while ensuring they were large enough on the pages to appreciate, but thought you may like to see one or two of those we simply didn’t have space for. This time at least…

Arthur at Brands Hatch, 1967.


The brand new edition 25 is hot off the press as of today and available from our NEW online shop – click here to buy an individual magazine and click here to subscribe.

** ScooterNova is an independent scooter magazine that has been produced since 2017, by scooterists for scooterists.
ScooterNova is available from all good scooter shops in the UK and Europe, with magazines and subscriptions available for readers around the world directly from our online shop.