Great Britain was apparently the only country in Europe where Lambretta sales outstripped those of Vespa back in the 50s and 60s, and the man behind that talks exclusively to ScooterNova magazine in the forthcoming edition 33.
Lambretta Concessionaires Ltd were the British importers and Maurice Knight was employed from the very beginning to sell scooters. We sat down with him recently to ask about those early days, what it was like to work for Concessionaires and also talk about his later role with Suzuki GB.
Another Great British story in edition 33 is that of the rare Vespa Six-Day Racers that few people realise made it over to these shores. A couple of them were used by Douglas in competition back in the 1950s and the history of one model can be traced for a couple of decades from there.
Back to modern times and we have a wide range of fantastic scooters to enjoy from unique Lambro/ Lambretta trike first built by Mike Hayman back in the 1980s and recently overhauled and put back on the road by the man himself, to a couple of Lambretta street racers; a GP AF-S-type tribute to Arthur Francis, and our cover star Rizla +33 built and ridden by the same Dave who created the green Rizla racer Lambretta back in the 1980s.
From Austria we have a tuned 1950s American Allstate scooter, originally produced by Piaggio for Sears, and a tidy custom MotoVespa now residing in Devon, its style inspired by the bomber planes of WW2.
Ever heard of a Parilla scooter? It was one of the lesser-known (outside of Italy) scooter brands of the 1950s, and it transpires that they produced a rather interesting prototype twin-cylinder 2-stroke for the 1960s that sadly never made it into production.
Speaking of Italy in the 1950s, we have Part 2 of our tales from the Lambretta factory floor article, with more interesting insights and fantastic old archive images.
Other articles include an introduction to scooter endurance racing where everyone is welcome, a Lambretta Allsorts that will make you look twice, and a number of event reviews including European, World and British Vespa Days (Portugal, Bali and Wales), Time Trouble & Money 2, BSRA ralies to Cleethorpes and Weymouth and The Lui Dolomite Experience.
By the way, we haven’t yet mentioned the FREE sticker for every reader with each copy of edition 33, to celebrate five years of independent publishing! Yes, it was way back in 2017 that Edition 1 of ScooterNova magazine first hit the streets!
Edition 33 of ScooterNova will be published next week on the 26 August 2022 with pre-orders and subscribers copies being posted out on the 23 August. We will also have a ScooterNova magazine stall at the Isle of Wight scooter rally over the August Bank Holiday weekend on the rally site at Sandown airport, and will have stock of the brand new magazine for sale there too.
We’ll be riding down Thursday to set the stall up for Friday. For all those going, ride safe and see you on the island!