Monday, 31 October 2011

Three tin toy Vespas

Once upon a time these were for children. Now they are for collectors.
I found these in a locked cabinet at the Padova fair in Italy the last weekend. Don't know of what brands, wonder if someone can be from France. It's the same registration number on the Vespa and on the Ape.
My favourite is the red Vespa with the young driver with the stylish knitted (well, use your imagination) pullover!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Did Innocenti really do that?

Above is a close-up of the original floor mat from my "yard wreck" Lambretta TV 175 series 1. Someone has carved the rubber with a knife. 
I wonder of it was done at the Innocenti factory?
When I tried to mount the aftermarket floor mat, the end caps for the legshield rubber trim was covered by the mat. Causing a little "bulge".
I thought that the aftermarket mat was crap, until I tested the original mat and discovered the outtake done by knife, allowing the endcap some space.
The alignment between the the right and left floormat is also "wrong", causing this problem. The right floor mat is located nearer to the outer end of the legshield, compared to the left one. The same occurs when I test with old original mats. All the time using the original holes.
Drilling new holes doesn't solve it, then you modify the outriggers attached to the frame's central tube to much.
Anyone who knows the real story here?
I also have fitted some anti vibration rubbers between the frame and the legshield. I saw this device on the homepage of Casa Lambretta Scandinavia, but couldn't find them in the spare parts exploded view for Lambretta TV 175, series 1. 
I decided to fit some home made rubbers, it won't thinks!

The end cap that causes a bulge, unless you use a knife...

Anti vibration rubber, home made, invisible later...

The side cowls with emblems, rechromed originals.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Awesome Aussie Vespa dealer

Les Smith, importer, and Vittorio "Tony" Tonon.

The wonderful world of internet. I started chatting on the forum of Vespa Riders Club of Australia. I asked about some old Vespas and was directed to the site of the Vespa dealer Vespa House in Melbourne.
And discovered some amazing pictures from the about the late fifties, Vespa House was established in 1956 by italian immigrant Vittorio "Tony" Tonon.
I got in contact with his grandson Dean Tonon, who with his brother Jemahl is running the business nowadays while their father Frank keeps an eye on things.
Dean has let me publish the pictures here on my blog.
- Tony, everybody called him that, and my father Frank and our mechanic Johnny, established the company. We're just happy to continue, Dean says.
Tony is riding pillion in the top picture, at the handlebar is Les Smith, manager for the Vespa importer Bruce Small.
Dean's uncle Bruno Tonon was also involved.
- He worked with them in the early days. He even met his future wife, Ingun from Gothenburg (!), in the workshop. I think that Ingun was riding a Lambretta at that time.
The mechanic Giovanni "Johnny" Scriba arrived 1959 at the age of 20 in Melbourne and the year after he started to work for Vespa House. And he is still helping out!
The pictures are actually in colour, but heavily faded after over 50 years. I decided to show them in b/w instead.
Look at the awesome Holden "Ute"or "Utility"car with two kids outside the workshop. With the inscription "Tony's Vespa Towing Service". I bet it was handy, but was it good for business? Does Vespas really need towing?
Holden was the Australian subsidary of General Motors, since 1931. I think the one below is the FJ Holden Utility 1953-1956 (Aussies, feel free to correct me!).

Bruno Tonon outside the workshop.
A wonderful Holden "Ute", a pickup affiliated with General Motors.
They serviced both Vespa and Lambretta. Faro basso far right.
They even had a Vespa 400! Missed the girls name.
And an Ape!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

The last ride on the Vespa U

We're entering the big darkness here in Sweden. The big cold as well. Not much hope for decent temperatures for about six months. Maybe next April will be warm and sunny, then we hibernate for only five months...
Today I took a last ride on my Lambretta 150D and my Vespa 125 U for this year. Emptying the fuel tanks while enjoying myself. My son's Vespa 50R was also put away for the winter. The 160 GS, not driven this year, is at the far right below.

Even tried on my "new" pillion seat, the one bought at the Imola fair. Not sure if it turned out well...colourwise I mean.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

A wasp on a Vespa emblem

A lazy wasp has found is way in to our kitchen. He did find the Vespa emblem in our window.

Nella nostra finestra della cucina, una vespa sul logo Vespa.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Terrot - the fat pig from France

You could take this for a french Terrot, but it's a Magnat-Debon!

So many scooters, so little time, so little money...
I'm basically a Vespa and Lambretta fanatic. And Svalan Scooter of course. I would even consider buying an Apollo Biet as well. Then I draw the line, me think's.
But I also have a soft spot for this little french bugger. Strongly resembling a fat pig or something running away from a children's merry-go-round.
Thought they only came as Terrot's but on the french Scootentole forum I learnt that they also were sold as Magnat-Debon's. Or even an Automoto. Thanx to Big X for the first photo.
The debuted in 1952 as the Terrot VMS1 and the Magnat-Debon S1. 98 cc, 2,6 hp and 3,25 x 8 inch tyres. Upgraded in 1953 to 125 cc and 3,5 hp. At first suited for only the driver. The third version from 1954 were somewhat enlarged allowing a pillion. In 1955 the last upgrade was done, this is the cunningly named Scooterrot! The Magnat-Debon was called just S3. With a preselector gearbox with a gripshift on the left handlebar displaying which gear that was selected, according to the book "A-Z of Classic Scooters" (Haynes, 2007). It also gained one whole horsepower more, now 4,5!
Drivable? Maybe. Cute? Definitely!

This Terrot sits at Vittorio Tessera's museum outside Milan.
This is a Magnat-Debon, too. I think...
What are they admiring? Being french et al...
Baby blue, and for two!

Monday, 10 October 2011

TV 175: The choice of colours

Why did I choose the colour scheme ivory/hazel nut for my Lambretta TV 175, series 1?
Well, it was resprayed in 1990 by the former owner himself. On the side panels he had sanded down some excessive paint and gone through to the basecoat.
I certainly don't have an unlimited time or budget for my scooter projects. I decided to give it a two-tone, keeping the old paint on the frame and headset etc, and applying new on the "damaged" parts.
I didn't dare going for ivory (avorio) because of matching issues. 20 years is a long time.
So, ivory and brown felt nice. That decided I gave the saddle to an upholsterer, with two sheets of "yellow" and "brown" vinyl. The pattern is some what after a Lammy featured in Scootering some years ago.
I'm not a custom guy as you can see. Because of that I was very happy discovering the adverts below, in the 1959 April issue of the English magazine "Motor Cycling with Scootering Weekly".
Here it's stated that you can get your TV 175 in ivory - coffee/ivory - green/ivory - blue ivory. 1959, it could be a series 2. Or maybe a series 1?
Coffee or hazel nut, it's the same to me.
Next advert has a drawing of a two-toned Li.
Anyhow, I'm happy with my choice!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Homebuilt Swedish scooters

This pic is from around 1950. Two young Swedish brothers decided to build their own scooters. One of them worked at the JB factory, building the 128 cc engine for small motorcycles and the same engine that later ended up in Svalan Scooter and Apollo Biet.
That didn't help, the factory didn't sell them any engines. They had to look for another supplier, enter Husqvarna. The old Swedish firm building weapons since the 18th century, then bicycles and from 1903 motorcycles. After the WWII they started building small motorcycles, equipped with their own 118 cc twostroke engine.
In 1950 the two brothers obtained two 120 cc Husqvarna engines. Through a "white lie", loose engines were only sold to disabled persons who intended to build their own three-wheeled vehicles.
Four wheelbarrow wheels were bought, also steel pipes and sheet metal. They build their own saddles and succeded in getting MOT's.
The scooters were used during a couple of years, at one time moving a large sofa driving in width...carefully.
Then the scooters were scrapped, it would have been nice if at least one of these vintage scooters had been saved.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

The other Lambretta series 1...

Two Lambretta TV 175, series 1, from 1958.

Maybe you have guessed, that there is something fishy going on in my backyard.
Yes, I have a Lambretta TV 175, series 1, under restoration. And a wreck.
It's always scary to post an ongoing restoration.  Will the inspiration go away? Will people ask about what happend to it?
Okay, I'll make a try anyway.
I bought this scooter three years ago, me thinks...
A friend restoring old cars mentioned that he had inherit an old Lambretta from his father who had passed away. I waited over six months before I contacted him, saying "you shouldn't be tellling me things like this...". He said "I know".
When the garage doors were opened and I could see that it was a series 1, I was hooked. The son had told me that it was from 1958, not much more.
A deal was struck, if I don't restore I have to sell it back to him. Luckily he didn't set a time limit...
The Lambretta was saved at the end of the 80's and the restoration started around 1990. The old man resprayed it himself in the right colour, ivory. He had the wheels re-chromed, but not painted. The restoration came to a halt since couldn't locate a new piston. This where the early 90's!
The scooter was partly reassembled, but the engine was in pieces.
I have so far purchased a piston with rings and my good friend Patrik put the engine together. I have also polished some of the aluminium bits. I decided early on that I wanted a yellow/brown two-tone, so the saddle was sent to a upholsterer. Here I also choose yellow/brown, trying to match the paint.
I also had the painter to apply the ivory paint on the chromed rims, just like original. 
As I showed in the former blogpost I had to take some parts from my wreck,
Right now I don't have all parts, but it's getting closer.
Stay tuned, and cheer me on!

It was for this head set I needed the bolt from the wreck.
The yellow is the original ivory, the brown is hazel nut.

A Lammy wreck is useful

The Lambretta TV 175 series 1 wreck in my yard have proven itself useful again. I have just saved the bolt that thightens the headset to the steering column/fork. The bolt is special made for Lambrettas and has the Allen-system, much favoured by Innocenti. The point is that you have a fair chance to adjust the sprint in this cramped area, if necessary, without dismantling the whole headset.
Not even that helps if use a regular nut and bolt since a spanner or a socket wrench is way too big.

The bolt, nut and washer did come off, some 53 years after someone fitted them at the Innocenti factory.

Cleaned from grime and rust. I applied some spray paint as well.