Thursday, 29 December 2011

Tourist pilot on a Vespa

In the mid-sixties the oil company Caltex, later Texaco, did a publicity stunt where they supplied Tourist Pilots on Vespas in European cities. In Sweden it was Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö and Helsingborg. They were also present in UK and Greece as far as I know.
The picture above is from a card that was handed over to tourists to explain the service. The Tourist Pilot jumped on the Vespa and led the way to the requested adress.
This card should be from after 1968, since the female pilot is sitting on a Primavera.
Below is from the same card, explaining the service in five languages. And it's from Göteborg as you can see.
At the bottom is a postcard, with another Tourist Pilot, riding through Stockholm. Followed by a Volvo Amazon (121 was the model name outside Sweden). There is also a Volvo lorry in the picture.
Funny thing, the pilots overalls were light blue during the Caltex era, here the girls have the darker blue Texaco overall.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas everybody!

It's been a great year! Lot's of scootering both home and abroad. From February to the end of October.
Vespa World Days in Norway in May, visiting the Scooter museum outside Milan in June and the Imola fair in September to name a few events.
And I started this blog! Getting to know lot's of nice scooter people from all over the globe.
Thank's for following, commenting and making contributions.
Posting ten pics from my scootering year.
My way of saying Merry Christmas, Buon Natale and God Jul!

The 18th of February, minus 22 degrees C at the start.

Scooter premiere, May, Stockholm.

Vespa World Days, Gjövik, Norway.

Vittorio Tessera's museum in Rodano, June.

Stockholm, 7th of August. Racing hard!

No, no progress in the Ape business. August.

Same helmet, Mods vs Rockers, September the 3rd, Stockholm.

Carello half moon fog lights, found at Imola fair, September.

Yeah! My Lambretta 150 D, the mean green machine! September.

The wreck and the TV 175 to be...

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Magnificent about Lambretta

It's maybe too late to wish for this as a Christmas gift. But maybe you can change a boring book against this?
"Lambretta - due ruote di felicità" (two wheels of happiness) is of course written by Vittorio Tessera. The man behind Casa Lambretta and Museo Scooter & Lambretta in Rodano, outside Milan.
In the foreword he says something in the line of "Here I go, talking about Lambretta again".
Please do, signore Tessera!
Well, talking, but the real treat here is the pictures. Meraviglioso will translate into marvelous!
Okay, it starts in the 1930's and the beginning of the firm Innocenti, producing steel scaffolding for construction work. Interesting as a background, but we're all after the scooters, right?
Calm down, they start at page 52, of a total of 360 pages. Pictures of production, competitions, events, rideouts, club life, holidays, publicity stunts etc follows.
Every aspect of trying to reach happiness on two wheels are covered!
Then there are interviews with Luigi Innocenti's widow and son, factory employees and racing drivers. All in Italian at first, but in the back there is an english translation to each chapter.
But the pictures speaks an international language!
Mi piace molto!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

One more - kids Vespa PX

Found another Vespa PX for children among my pictures.
This one was for sale at the Imola fair.
Didn't bother to ask for the price. But I like them, although my sons are to big...

Warm rideout in Argentina

Rain, rain and rain mixed with snow here in Stockholm. No scootering at all for me.
While the vespistas in Argentina has rideouts, wearing t-shirts.
Recently there was a three day do in the Buenos Aires area. Raul started on his Vespa GS 150 (VS4) but suffered from a piston breakdown 30 km's from his home. His father came along on a Honda and towed Raul to his home. You can see the rope below.
At home Raul switched to his P200 and he could participate. About 200 scooterists showed up.
I don't know much about the multicoloured GS that was subject to a jump start in the last picture.
Thanx, Raul!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Francobollo con D'Ascanio su!

Please send me a postcard! The Italian postal service is honouring Vespa creator Corradino D'Ascanio with a special stamp to be issued on Tuesday 20th of December.
Mandami una cartolina!

The Swedish Parilla scooter

This is very hardcore, the emblems above was removed from the Parilla scooters when the Swedish Husqvarna in 1953 started transforming them into their own model.
We're talking serious badge engineering here.
Well, the Husqvarna factory equipped the scooters with their own 120 cc/4,5 hp and three speed engine.
The leaflet below brags about bigger wheels and longer wheel base.
And "An Italian beauty with speed rewarding (sic!) lines, powerful engine and extraordinary handling".
I haven't had the oppurtunity to drive one, but they do have a reputation for over-heating. The Husqvarna engine wasn't designed for fan cooling, just like the JB-engine in the ill-fated Swedish Svalan Scooter.
The Parilla emblems above belongs to a Husqvarna collector.

"Swedish quality, italian beauty".

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Vintage pins from Vespa Clubs

Pins from Vespa Club Wiesbaden and Vespa Club Sverige. The small wasp from the German club is actually upside down. I found a club called Vespa Club Wiesbaden 1950, since it was founded that year. Might still be running, there is a person to contact.
The pins come from a Swedish guy who used to be a Vespa Club member during the late 50's and the early 60's.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Primavera in Argentina

Right now it's summer in Argentina, lucky bastards!
This Vespa Primavera 1981 has not yet reached 500 km's.
Amazing! And you wonder, why did they buy it in the first place?
It was recently bought by my friend Raul in Buenos Aires. He's a keen Vespista and has other models as well. He wasn't looking for a Primavera, but the low mileage tipped him over.
Nice scoot, but would you dare use it? Adding more and more km's to the speedometer...
Raul also told me that when he was young his father had a Siambretta, the argentinian Lambretta built under license. The father always said: "I wish I someday can buy a Vespa".

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Vespa PX - for children

A nice item for kids who has behaved well during the year. Maybe Babbo Natale (Santa Claus) will bring to someone?
Don't think so.
This one was for sale at the fair in Padova in October.
Good condition and the asking price was € 350. I guess it is driven by a battery. Not sure if that was included in the price.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Swedish Lambretta leaflet

Here's a sales leaflet from the Swedish Lambretta importer Bil & Truck from Gothenburg. Originally it was an article in the Swedish motor magazine "FART med motorrevy". Yes, sorry all of you who speaks English, but "fart" means speed in Swedish. Nothing else!
The magazine did a test drive of the Lambretta TV 175 in their fourth number 1958. Issued when it still was winter. The test driver couldn't really try the top speed or brakes, due to weather conditions. He also concluded that the clutch was hard to use in minus 8 degrees C!
Funny thing, though, the Swedish name was Lambretta 175 TV Turist. As you know TV stands for Turismo Veloce, so in Sweden it was Turismo Veloce Turist...
The FART magazine's driver liked the looks of the scooter, that it was well-equipped, the acceleration and the top speed thanks to the powerful engine.
Minus points were the difficulties to change gears in cold weather (Hey, it was built in Italy!).
It was definitely a positive article so the importer Bil & Truck had the article printed and provided the leaflets for their retailers.

Piquet won nine Vespas

In the 80's Piaggio launched a competition among the Formula 1 drivers. If you were the fastest in the qualifying, you won a Vespa in the "Piaggio Vespa Pole Position Trophy".
Nelson Piquet, the three times Formula 1-champion from Brazil, was in pole position nine times, and lay his hands on nine Vespas.
In the pic here is Alain Prost, according to the comment below, thanx. He obviously won at least once.
In 1985 Piaggio presented the T5 Pole Position, 11 hp at 6 700 rpm.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Sei Giorni Vespas

Here is a nice little book. I picked it up at the Padova fair, although it was released in 2001 by CLD libri. The authors are Vespa collector and historian Giorgio Notari and original Sei Giorni "pilota" Giuseppe Cau.
The story is about the competition Vespas from the late 40's and early 50's. Mostly it deals with the 26th Sei Giorni (Six Days) Internazionale regularity trial in 1951. This was the first time Piaggio officially participated in a competition.
Ten works Vespas participated in the 125 cc class, and they obtained nine gold medals!
Lot's of fantastic pictures from the event, pictures of the rider's clothes, helmets, tools etc.
Hrm, only in italian so if you don't speak the language, the pictures has to tell the story. And they do!
Especially the presentation of four sports Vespas. Freshly taken studio pictures shows the details of a Vespa Sport 1951, the Vespa Sport "ufficiale Piaggio" 1951 (for Sei Giorni), the Vespa Sport I serie 1952 and the Vespa Sport Serie II 1953.
The three latter could reach 95 km/h, still from 125 cc, compared to the 65 km/h for the standard models. The output increased from 4,5-5 hp to 7 hp. The body was reinforced, the front shield narrowed and the engine side cowl enlarged. The front suspension was strengthened and the fuel tank enlarged to the capacity of 11 litres. The 23 mm carburettor sat directly on the cylinder and the clutch was reinforced to name a few alterations from stock Vespas.
The picture below was taken by me when I visited the Piaggio museum in 2010. The "ufficiale Piaggo" has the number 94, that Giuseppe Cau used to have. But I can't remember if it actually is his Vespa.

Vespa Sport "ufficiale Piaggio" sits at the museum in Pontedera.

The significant head lamp à la submarine...

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Piccolino - an Iso scooter

My friend Janne from the north of Sweden put me on the right track regarding the Iso 150 cc scooter. He told me in a comment that "Piccolino" was the correct name for that scooter on the Swedish market, not "Milano" or "Diva".
To make his point he just sent me this pictures from the Swedish sales brochure. Below it says "Piccolino the scooter with top quality to a bottom price", or something in that way. The Iso Piccolino/Milano is often described as a clever mix between a Vespa and a Lambretta.

Some of the accessories for the Iso Piccolino.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Lambretta + Carello for Vespa

The headlamp in it's place.

I've been doing some scooter work as well as tending to my newly bought moped.
In order to get my Lambretta TV 175 series 1 going, I moved it to my friend Jim. He has the tools, a lathe, a weld and more, and he knows how to use them. The other day we started out with some of the electrics, it's certainly a tight fit in the headset.
Next task was to help me with the brackets for my Carello half moon fog lights. The ones bought at the Imola fair and that will end up on my Vespa 160 GS. Another friend had the crash bars, an original accessory from the 60's. Thank's, C!
Unfortunately the brackets I had bought had a inner dimension of 25 mm, and the crash bar tubes are 19 mm...
Jim made some washers on his lathe and the mounting was no problem, as you can se.
The chainguards, two of them, to my moped (motobici) Svalette was missing. With a strike of luck two spares can turn up the coming week. Fingers crossed...

It's a tight fit with the electrics and cables.

Not ready for start yet...

The Carello fog lights mounted on the crashbar...

...which will be fitted to my Vespa 160 GS.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Kid brother to my Svalan

Sorry, but I have to feature a moped in my scooterblog. It won't happen again...
At a Swedish fair the last weekend this beauty showed up for sale. A 1954 (or 1953) Svalan Svalette of 48 cc capacity. Made by the same factory that built my 1954 Svalan Scooter (128 cc). Yes, bigger wheels of 24-inch and no front shield or any cowls. A Swedish moped limited by law to under one hp and no more than 30 km/h.
I normally stick to scooters, but when a kid brother calls out for rescue, I'm always there!
Had to fit new inner tubes, cleaned it, tightened some nuts, filled up petrol - and it fired up. Just one gear, so my two Svalan vehicles has three gears - together.
But hey, isn't it a nice looking combo?

The power plant; 48 cc and approx 0,75 hp. One gear...

The big and beautiful Swallow. Schwalbe. Aronde. Rondine.

Weird tail light, red see through plastic will fix it.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Lambretta from Åland

This old Lambretta was doing service at Åland, the archipelago between Sweden and Finland. The islands belongs to Finland but the inhabitants speak Swedish. My informer Kjell was born in 1958 and during the first three years of his life, this was the family vehicle.
On the top picture are Kjells parents. Below is the same Lambretta and Kjells mother Eivor is hiding behind it with her husbands sister. The bags might still be in the family's possesion.
Kjell doesn't now the model, since the Lambretta is long gone. The round ventilation holes points at either a 125 Lc or an early 125 Ld. I can't decide judging just by these pictures, it would have been easier if I had seen the front wheel, the suspension differ between Lc and Ld. Any suggestions?
Nice one, anyhow!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Vespa rally badge from 1954

Happy day! I just got this one delievered by mail (old fashioned snail mail). A friend of mine from up north told me that he had an old Vespa badge from a rally. I met him in his home this summer, but he couldn't find it during my visit. But he promised to send it to me as soon as it showed up.
I've been waiting and waiting...thanx a million!
Right now I don't know so much about "Rally de Stockholm 1954", organised by Vespa Club Sverige. But I will found out.
The circumference is about five centimeters or two inches.

Questa emblema ha arrivata oggi!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Lambretta Lui - C and CL

These two were for sale at "Auto e Moto d'Epoca" in Padova in the end of October.
Lambretta Luna for export but Lambretta Lui in Italy. And in the home country available in two versions; C and CL, both 50 cc. The former being a simpler version with "bicycle" handlebars instead of the neat alloy handlebars on the more luxiorius modell. The head lamp differs as well as you can see.
The CL model was available as Luna in Sweden in two versions; one with the muffler under the engine and one with the sports exhaust from the 75 cc Vega/Cometa line, the latter refered to as 50S. But a Swedish leaflet has a picture of a CL named S50 and an italian tail light. I guess the leaflet was made before the decision on what model would be imported. 
The more basic C was never for sale in Sweden.
I have two leaflets on the Luna range in my possession, one showing the CL model with the exhaust under the engine and with the smaller saddle. The other leaflet is showing a 50S, with the exhaust also under the engine but with the longer 50S- and Vega/Cometa-saddle. In these days we have both the CL and S on the vintage market.
Yeah, Swedish law took away 0.48 hp since a Swedish moped (50 cc) was restricted to 1 hp. Thus reducing the top speed to 30 km/h.
The Luna/Vega line was designed by Bertone in 1967, production started in May 1968 and ended in 1969 after a total of 27 812 were built of both 50 and 75 cc scooters.

I wonder if they got separated? 

The handlebar and the head lamp without speedo on the C.

Italian style tail lights, they were bulkier and round  in Sweden.

My own Luna, sold it some years ago. Still regretting the sale...

Cute toy, a friend bought in London.

From a Swedish sales brochure. Italian tail light.

From another Swedish brochure.