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.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Three-wheeler or motocarro

A motocarro from Motom, 48 cc 4-stroke, 1952-1966.

I promised to show some three-wheelers, or motocarro or motofurgone, from the fair at Imola this year.
Now is the time. I have a soft spot for these "work-horses", never cared for and just doing their job. Day by day, year by year, decade by decade.
Some are "better" than others.
Like the Ape Calessino from Piaggio. Better paint, nice wood insets and soft seats for tourists. Gliding along the Riviera with a lazy "ciao" to passer-by's.
Other just moved vegetables, boards, bricks, olive oil, bottles of wine, and so on. All through streets several centurys older than the motocarro itself. Narrow streets and alleys, no room for a big lorry like a Scania or a Volvo.
From the beginning half a motorcycle or half a scooter, two wheels in the back and a flatbed above. As they progressed a cabin was added, without doors from the beginning. Later vans and pickups were available. Calessinos, rickshaws, were developed in to small taxis.

Ape from 1967-1974, 175 cc. Like the one I'm longing for...

Ape Calessino, 125 cc, about 1952?

Needs restoration, Ape about midfifties, 150 cc. Missing windshield.

MV Centauro motocarro from around 1959, 150 cc 4-stroke.

A Benelli from Pesaro, early fifties. 49 cc.

Even Moto Guzzi, 500 cc from midfifties maybe.

Ape faro basso, 150 cc and from  about 1956.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Scooterish, sort of...

I have made a new page here to the right.
Not entirely scooter stuff, but in a strange way related. Hope you enjoy! I think it's funny...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Delta Rhythm Boys on Vespas

I just found this EP, recorded in 1957. The first song is "Liselott", not even close to Northern soul...
But there are five lovely guys on five Vespas.
The vocal group Delta Rhytm Boys was started as early as 1939 in Oklahoma, USA, according to the record sleeve. After WWII the went to Europe and ended up in Sweden in 1949. During the early fifties they recorded some EP:s for the newly formed Swedish record company Metronome. In 1955 they performed in over 150 places in Sweden.
Originally a jazz group but during their stay in Sweden they recorded several folkloristic and popular Swedish songs. In Swedish! I myself remember their rendition of "Flickorna i Småland", sung with a thick american accent and I believe that they only roughly knew what they were singing about. They also sang in Finnish!
So why posing on five Vespas?
The record label Metronome was started by Anders Burman and his brother Lars. But it was owned buy two brothers Bjerke, Mats and Tore. The Bjerke brothers also owned the Vespa importer "Como M & T Bjerke", Como came from their start as importers of fabric (silk) from the Como-district in Italy. Both businesses, records and Vespas, were operated from the same adress, Karlavägen 67 in Stockholm. And, this adress was also home for the Vespa Club Sverige (Sweden).
So, one hand makes an EP with Delta Rhytm Boys, the other want's to sell more Vespas. Voila, a beautiful record sleeve!
But I wonder if the Delta Boys ever drove their Vespas, in the pic they're all on their stands.
The model is the Vespa Touring, an export model with 150 cc, 6 hp and 10-inch wheels - the most common vintage Vespa in Sweden. The cowls had the "grodyngel" (tadpole, parole italiano e' girino) accesory. Note the arial with the foxtail, and I think there is a Vespa Club Sverige badge on the shield to the one in the middle.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

On the wrong scooter...

"A251, exhaust deflector", it look's just like the one I have on my 1961 Vespa GS 150 (below). But this leaflet are displaying accessories for Lambretta. It even says "Genuine Lambretta accessories for your TV 175", and the leaflet was issued in 1958 by the UK importer Lambretta Concessionaires LTD.
So I have to moved the deflector to my Lambretta TV 175 I guess. Can't have Lambretta stuff on a Vespa.
And start searching for "A201 Front Bumper".

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Vespa & Lambretta collectibles

Yesterday I found a copy of the Swedish cartoon magazine "Vilda Västern" (Wild West) from the mid-fifties.
Strangely enough they had a collectors series of motorcycles available on the Swedish market at the time. On every backside of the tiny magazine there was either a motorcycle or a scooter. Of course I looked for a Vespa or a Lambretta and came up with this Lambretta 125 F below. Just a black and white picture and some specifications like "123 cc, 4 hp and top speed 70 km/h".
The glass is from the classic Italian beverage maker Cinzano. It's from 2007 and obviously a homage to the vintage Vespa. Hrm, isn't there a bottle somewhere...

The back of a Swedish cartoon magazine from the fifties.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Vespa 46 - Quarantasei

Mi piace! Piaggio showed this at the ongoing EICMA, the international motorcycle salon in Milan.
It's a tribute to the first Vespa, the 98 cc from 1946, with modern technology. They say that it will be produced before the end of 2012. Let's hope so!
Two versions; 125 cc with 11,8 hp and 150 cc with 13,2 hp.
Quarantasei - cool name. But what's not cool in italian...

Monday, 7 November 2011

An Allstate from Innocenti?

This is an Allstate from Sears. A Vespa for the US market, the first ones was for sale in 1952. I've never seen one in real life but it seems that the handlebar and headlamp from the Allstate ended up on the Vespa 125 U in 1953. It should also have floorboards without rubbers, similar to the ones on the Vespa U. But I think the Allstate has more floorboards than the U, three more since the U only has six.
The engine, the side cowls and the front fender differ though.
The picture above is peculiar, I didn't see why until recently.
Yes, the rubber grips are from another Italian Scooter maker, erm, Innocenti. You can see it clearly if you zoom in on them. Of course fitted when the original ones went missing.
The Allstate below was restored by Canadian guy Manwell from Ontario between 2006 and 2011. His first restoration and heavy one! There is a link to his blog on the right.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The Vespa U from Paraguay

The wonderful world of Internet. Suddenly I got in contact with the man who sold the Vespa 125 U in Paraguay this February. He is living in Paraguay and known for finding old scooters. And he was kind enough to send me more pictures of it.
This Vespa U was once owned by a catholic priest who used it regularly.
It appeared to be complete and "almost" driveable.
The fork and the front fender are not the original ones for a Vespa U.
The handlebar has been chromed sometimes, should be painted on an Utilitaria. And the saddle springs had a conical shape when the Vespa in 1953 left the Piaggio factory in Pontedera.
The tail light here is also from another vehicle and the alloy floorboards without rubber are missing, just like my own Utilitaria's. When I only had the picture from the advert it seemed like the gas tank was missing, well it's there. Altough with a non-original filler cap.
The Vespa U was sold to a serious Vespista living on the same continent.
The pictures of this U taken in daylight reveals that it has a similar colour to my own U, light blue. I guess that's accurate, compared to the pictures taken indoors where it appears to be almost white. I think it's funny that two people with more than an ocean between them, for a repaint choose so similar colours!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Memory from EuroVespa 1963

In 1963 EuroVespa was held in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. A young Swedish guy, Sven-Erik from Gothenburg, went on his brand new Vespa GS 160. He managed to get hold of small jacket pins from Vespa Club Norge, Vespa Club Danmark, Vespa Club Austria, Vespa Club von Deutschland, Vespa Club France and Vespa Club Italia. He of course already had the pin from Vespa Club Sverige.
He then mounted them together, under the "Scuderia Vespa" name, on a painted cardboard as a memory.
These days he's not involved with anything connected to Vespa, so he passed this nice item on to me.