AND SO IT BEGINS – REDOING GRUMPAS OLD LAMBRETTA FOR DAISY
When me and Luke was looking after the business on the first lockdown, he asked if we could build a Lambretta together. Now this was a bit of a shock! He’s shown no interest in Motorbikes, Cars, Scooters or even riding pushbikes. Today we’ve seen him nearly fall off a Lui with 2 horse power and he’s even taken on mountain biking to work! Wonders never cease!
And in that time he’s also become a grumpy daddy having our little Daisy. Every now and then he says ‘when are we doing a Scooter Dad’?
As we’ve just finished our latest restoration, we had a free ramp. And it just so happened I had a spare complete Lambretta Series 1 which I got years ago to replace my Series 1 from 1988, which was destroyed in my fire at Grimsby.
My 88 version I did actually find in a real barn on a farm. It was covered in a pile of pigeon shit. We got it home in the back of a Reliant Robin with me laying on top of it and the driver going round corners on only 2 wheels to try and scare me! It was dully restored and was my daily run around when I first set up in business. It wasn’t unknown to carry 30 parcels to the post office piled on the back, front, leg shields and in a rucksack. The thing could hardly move and was near impossible to get it on the stand. I would regularly take a parcelled engine to the post office on that bike.
I rode that bike for 12 hours non stop to Mike Karslakes in Kesterfield for my stag weekend with my old mate Ian Belk on the back with tent and gear. Me and Ian are still riding together to this day. We got there late and it was the first time I met Chuck Swonnell he said ‘lovely restoration but spoilt it with some chrome runner strips’! Not the first time I could have lost my rag after been on the thing all day and was made even worse when we got to the pub and they shut the door in our face – we missed last orders! Argh!
The 88 bike started lots of parts that are still been made and sold today. It was the first bike with our 25mm Dellorto carb kits, it also had an early MB Clubman and was the first bike I built with stainless fasteners. The cylinder was a Kawasaki 160 stage 4, Matty from Mansfield ended up with it and ran that for years until I did him a TS1. The bike did die in my fire in 89, I’d just filled it up and parked it inside the door and went home shopping with the wife in the car. When the fire took hold, it blew the panels off and the door, just as the firemen was breaking the door down and laid two of them flat on their backs with the door on top of them! I did put some paint on it and sold it back to an old customer in Grimsby where is was sold new.
Out of all the bikes I’ve had I’ve missed that one. It looked the part, its was a restoration when people was leaving Scootering or cutting down and chopperising now rare bikes. People would stop me in the street and talk about seeing me racing around Grimsby or loaded up with alloy castings and parcels and still grinding the exhaust. One day I fell off it when I hit a fish head on the docks and smashed my brand new helmet bought the week before.
Years ago I’d found a Series 1 for the same reason but someone made an offer I couldn’t refuse which went to Singapore. This came up on eBay and looked so bad no one put a bid on it. I took the gamble and was the only one with a bid. It was delivered direct from the owner driving from Italy heading to his brother restaurant up the road. He tried to start it for ages it but couldn’t. When he left I went to it and it started first time. Some people have it some don’t!
Why someone would through paint stripper over a Scooter then spray it all with the wrong paint I do not know. Look passed that and every thing could be chrome plated there isn’t a dint on it.
So this is the start, Luke calls it Daisys bike for his daughter, my granddaughter. I thought well let’s get on with it and try to find some time. Me I’m always busy and Luke he’s always busy! I try have a fun Friday just for me to do any of my collection. Now it’s winter we hope some Fridays are quiet and Luke can join me in the workshop.
Our aim is to do a near replica with the same 2 tone Blues. It will have all our MB restoration parts and it will have the MB Race-Tour Reed engine package with a little bit of bling. We may even keep it more in the family and use a Zundapp daisy stalk.
When it’s done it will be ridden by me, it may inspire Luke to take his driving test and hopefully it’s an antique Daisy can look back on with memories of old and growing up at Grumpas farm and Luke dragging her to the shop. Until then it will be another restoration people can drool over in the shop.