Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The restoration of the Lambretta TV175 series 3 begins!

It's official; the Lambretta TV175 s3 has left the dining room for a complete restoration. Let the bleeding of the wallet begin! A friend has graciously accepted to take on the task of bringing it back to its former glory. He's a master of the wrench and a fountain of knowledge when it comes to everything that is Lambretta or Vespa. I think my baby is in good hands.

The customary "before" picture taken the day the scooter was purchased.

After careful consideration, I decided to go for an original stock look with a Mod twist. What is a Mod twist you ask? A few tastefully and minutely chosen authentic accessories will be added. My problem is that I tend to go for the rare and expensive accessories before I take care of the nuts and bolts. But I think I got that covered by having put aside some money for the restoration. The rest of my spending money is to feed my serious accessory addiction. I sometimes need a serious fix of prescription Vigano.

I know that some of you cringe at the thought that I might drill some holes in this surprisingly pristine scooter body but I might as well tell you now, I will. I won't do anything drastic or irreversible but I will add a crashbar here... an embellisher there...

I first had to settle on a color. The Lambretta TV175 series 3 scooters came in 5 colors between 1961 and 1964: Grigio Scuro (Dark Grey), Rosso Corallo (Red Metallic), Giallo Chiaro (Light Yellow), Bianco Nuovo (New White) and Azzurro Met (Light Blue Metallic). Some hidden evidence indicates that my TV used to be an attractive metallic blue. That would make sense since I suspect that the TV is a 1964 and that was the year they made the Lambretta in that color. I still have to research the serial number to confirm the year. A few parts of the scooter like the glove box, filter box, gas tank, flywheel shroud and cylinder shroud were all painted New White. The seat frame and latch were painted gloss black and the front dampers were Fiat Aluminum. So it is settled. Metallic blue it is!

The only part that was missing from the scooter is the ever sought after disk brake. I decided to go with the Scoot RS reproduction. From what I can tell from simply staring at it, it seems to be well-made.  It basically looks exactly like the original. I can't wait until I can actually test it!

Aside from the disk brake, a few other essentials were purchased like a dark blue seat cover from Scooters Originali. The seat looks stunning and seems to be a high quality item.

Of course, I couldn't write this post without mentioning a few accessories I picked up. First is a Lucas Stinger backlight. With a body a bit longer then your usual brake light, it gives it a sporty streamline quality. The lens is what sets it apart from your typical lens. With a red bullet sticking out from the middle of the lens, you can't mistake it with the classic version and it's guaranteed to attract attention.

Joining the Stinger backlight, on what will undoubtedly be a very long list of attractive aftermarket accessories, is a pair of aluminum NOS heel plates from the good folks at Scooter Emporium in London. I will publicly admit it. I love chrome! I love it when it shines. If it wasn't so bloody expensive, I think I would probably dip the whole scooter in chrome. So expect more of the shinny stuff in the coming months.

If you want to see the color options that were available when the Lambretta came out of the factory, have a look at this wacky Italian television ad called the Lambrett Twist. My model is a few years older then the ones featured in the ad.


  1. cringe at the mention of crashbar drilling. mostly on the front legshield.

    neat tailight though.

  2. I understand. I promise I'll be gentle.

  3. Vai Lambretta!! Keep the updates coming Pat, you know I will be chomping at the bit to see every stage of the process

  4. They were Quartetto Cetra, a melodic vocale quartet very famous in italy in 50-60's.
    Good luck for the restoration !!!

  5. Thanks a lot für the funny ad, Pat. I sent it to a friend of mine (who just bought a Lambretta Silver Special) and made her a very happy girl. :-) I've always loved the Vespa, but I like the Lambretta too. True love exists in many variations. Claudia