Let me introduce you to my dream bike, this Lambretta TV175 series 3. I love the story behind this scooter and for a blogger like me, a good story always helps. I have just recently acquired it. Technically, I'm the fourth owner but in reality, I'll be the second one to actually have a chance to ride it.
And these days, to actually know the provenance of a bike in such good condition is getting pretty rare. First, I'm just glad I didn't have to deal with a Vietnamese death trap. Cheap Asian restorations have flooded the market in the last few years and I've heard of many horror stories. A lot of the scooter shops in North America won't even come close to one, afraid that they might catch something.
My beloved Lambretta has quite a different background. A young, recently married couple bought it new in the sixties with a simple idea in mind; use it as transportation to go on their honeymoon to Niagara Falls. For those who are not familiar with the honeymoon capital of the Great White North, picture a kitsch Las Vegas but with a huge waterfall.
In the sixties, it was the place to be on your wedding night.
It's quite a romantic beginning, don't you think? According to the daughter who sold the scooter for her parents, the two-wheeler was stored after the trip and hibernated in a cozy garage for decades, taken out only occasionally. This would explain the absence of rust, dings and the very low mileage.
The scooter then entered its dark phase. Thankfully it wasn't for long. The daughter eventually sold the TV175 to an old Italian fascist who revered Mussolini and Hitler. My buddy who bought the scooter from him recalled seeing a picture of Hitler and his wife on the living room mantle. Creeped out by the hate speech and incoherent ramblings of a racist old man, he paid him and bolted out of the place in 4th gear.
More proof of the old geezer's stupidity is that he spray painted the whole scooter with a rattle can. Don't get me wrong, I've seen some amazing things done with spray paint but this was simply a lazy, bodged job. The scooter looked like a big blue-grey orange peal. He didn't even bother taking the badges off! He even painted over the horncast grill! You can see evidence everywhere of where tape was applied. From what I can tell from the gentle wet sand I did on the scooter, the original scooter use to be white. Can you imagine? I could have had a stock TV175!
My friend kept it in his garage for a year and eventually passed it on to me. I did lose the original front disc brake in the transaction. He used it on his stunning SX200. Quite the dream bike in his own right!
So here I am with the scooter I always wanted in my living room and illusions of grandeur. This is where the real work (and headaches!) begins. I was looking to have it run and put, as is, on the road for the start of the riding season but I have since changed my mind and I'm looking to have a complete restoration done. Do you have any suggestions? I'm listening...