Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Strange Vespas from India

I'm not sure of what's happening in India at the moment. The country's story with Vespa and Lambretta goes way back. The firm Bajaj started building Vespa 150, the eight inch-wheeled Super, on license in 1960. The Bajaj Chetak, based on Vespa Sprint, was launched in 1972.
LML, Lohia Machinery Limited and founded in 1978, started a collaboration with Piaggio in 1984 and ended in 1999. The LML Star (in the US sold as Stella) was based on the PX and are today available in both 2- and 4-stroke versions.
In the fifties API (Auto Products of India) in Bombay started building Lambretta D's under license. And of course there is Scooters of India Limited, S.I.L. The company took over the Lambretta factory in 1971 after it's demise, with the blessing of the Indian governement. The production was based on the GP-range even if some scooters based on the Cento were built.
Since S.I.L. own's the right to the Lambretta name, API sold their scooters under the name "Lamby Polo". Today S.I.L. is only building three-wheelers and no scooters.
Sorry, a long story to get to the pictures in this blog. The first one was found on a sales site in India. According to the seller it is an 1951 "Vespa Acma", with an 150 cc LML engine, and 12 V electrics. Well, they can call their Vespas whatever they want in India. But naming it "Acma" suggests that it is a french historical vehicle. The Acma company built Vespas on license between 1951 and 1962 in Fourchambault near Dijon in France.
The green monster above has no resemblance with a 1951 Vespa/Acma. 10-inch wheels? The handlebar? The rivets on the front fender? You can also enjoy the saddle and it's springs. Don't forget to marvel over the back light, pointing to the sky...
And, of course, a rubber mat on the tunnel! And the body, home-welded?
Build what ever you want, but don't try to sell it as a true classic!
Here are some more Indian freaks:

The red and silver Vespa is also a "1951 Vespa Acma", with an 150 cc new LML-engine. Well, 10-inch wheels and a backlight that might be from a Vespa GS.
The three-coloured "beauty" below is advertised as a 1962 Vespa 150. If it is a true vintage Indian Vespa, shouldn't it have 8-inch wheels? Rubber mat, don't think so.
The seller has the word "export" in his company name. Hopefully no one falls for these fakes. If they are dangerous too? I don't know, Let's hope not!

1 comment:

  1. Are the Indians taking a page from their Vietnamese friends? These look very similar to the junk that is coming to the US from Vietnam.