Although remembered these days as a 1960s style icon favoured by the fashion conscious Mods, the Lambretta – together with Piaggio’s rival Vespa – had been intended as basic transport for the non-enthusiast masses. Manufactured by the Italian industrial giant Innocenti, the Lambretta gained instant acceptance in the immediate post-war years, its cleanliness and convenience appealing to those who looked upon a conventional motorcycle with suspicion.
Introduced in 1947, the Lambretta model A employed an open frame with pressed-steel front section and tubular rear, in which sat a 4.1hp 125cc 2-stroke engine. Wheels were 7” in diameter and unlike the rival Vespa there was no rear suspension, although the Vespa in its original form only had a single seat whereas the Lambretta had two.
Produced from 1948 to 1950, the 3-speed 4.3hp model B boasted rear suspension, a twist-grip gearchange and larger (8-inch) wheels. The A’s small wheels had not been liked but in its new form the Lambretta gained mass acceptance and by the end of 1949 Innocenti was producing up to 100 machines per day – 35,014 model Bs were built in total.
This model B is in terrific condition having been fully restored about five years ago. The correct metallic light blue paint is beautifully accented by polished chromework, and this is a rare opportunity to buy an early example of one of the most iconic Italian two-wheelers.