One of the most dramatic events of 2008 British motorsport was the victory by Scott Redding in the 125cc Grand Prix race at Donnington Park. Redding’s win ended an over thirty year drought for Brits in the One-Two-Five class as he set the record for being the youngest Grand Prix winner at about fifteen and a half years of age. MotoGP.com posted a nice report on the Gloucester lad passing his Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) test. Scott can now drive himself around on a scooter. I am fairly sure 50ccs of unbridled 2-stroke fury will make him feel a bit like he’s moving in slow motion compared to his Aprilia RSW125. But maybe he can get some help tuning the bike from his Team BQR mechanics. Mr. Redding is pictured on MotoGP.com while astride a Piaggio Zip 50 scooter. Scott races for Blusens Aprilia. As Aprilia is under the Piaggio umbrella of companies, I hope they set him up nicely with the ‘ped for free.
If it’s actually true that GM boss Bob Lutz owns and rides a Vectrix electric scooter, I see a reflection of his excessive disposable income, rather than an expression of his commitment to earth-friendly transportation. (This is a guy who called global warming “a crock of shit” this time last year.)
Chocolate Skateboards’ Anthony Papalardo model. Usually deck designs come and go too fast (I can’t even find online images of the several scooter-related decks that come to mind), but I think I’ve seen this one around for a while, pick one up before it’s gone! (Thanks M5 and Myk)
Adding to the ever-growing list of Lambrettas claiming to be Phil “Jimmy” Daniels’ custom Li from Quadrophenia: British comedian Spike Milligan’s widow is auctioning a “Jimmy” Lambretta from Milligan’s collection at Bonham’s on November 26, 2008.
UPDATE: Andrea (thanks!) found the actual listing at Bohnam’s, with a story that proves its lineage and explains that at least three “Jimmy Lambrettas” I thought to be in existence are actually this same bike. Now if someone could just clear up the Sting Vespa controversy.
I’m reposting the entire write-up here, without permission, in the interest of preserving the text for posterity in case Bonham’s doesn’t archive it:
Sale 15844 – Entertainment Memorabilia including “The Private World of Spike Milligan”, 25 Nov 2008
Lot No: 347W
Rock & Roll Memorabilia
1967 Lambretta Li150 Series 3 Scooter,
Registration no. KRU 251F, as ridden by Phil Daniels (‘Jimmy’) in the film ‘Quadrophenia’, 1979,
Manufactured by the Italian industrial giant Innocenti, the Lambretta motor scooter, together with the rival Piaggio-built Vespa, mobilised an entire generation of Italians in the immediate post-war years. The scooter gained instant acceptance everywhere, its cleanliness and convenience in particular appealing to those who regarded the true motorcycle with suspicion. Scooters would eventually surpass their strictly utilitarian origins to become an integral part of British youth culture in the 1960s as favourite transport of the fashion-conscious ‘Modernists’, or ‘Mods’. The scooter’s enclosed engine and decent weather protection meant that its rider could arrive at a club, doff his parka and look like he’d just stepped out of a taxi, which was a definite advantage within a dandified sub-culture that placed a premium on smartness of appearance.
Introduced in 1947, the Lambretta scooter went through a series of mechanical and stylistic evolutions before arriving at the ‘Li’ series in 1958. One of Lambretta’s all-time greats, the Li resulted from the relative failure of the unreliable TV 175 Series 1, which forced the company to go back to the drawing board. Built in 125cc and 150cc capacities, the classic Li used the bore/stroke dimensions of the preceding ‘D’ Series but housed its entirely new engine in modern bodywork similar to that of the TV. The Li subsequently underwent a series of styling alterations, the Series 3 being readily distinguishable by its handlebar-mounted headlight and ‘slimline’ styling, embodying what for many enthusiasts is the definitive Lambretta look.
Estimate: £20,000 – 25,000
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Email: Stephanie Connell
Tel: +44 (0)8700 273 620
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Email: Stephanie Connell
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The Lambretta Li 150 Series 3 offered here is the actual machine ridden by Phil Daniels’ character, James ‘Jimmy” Cooper in the 1979 film, ‘Quadrophenia’, inspired by The Who’s double album of the same name. After filming finished, the ‘Jimmy Bike’ was sold to scooter dealers Rafferty Newman and put on display in the window of their shop in Portsmouth. It was subsequently purchased by Eddie Harris who then sold it on to Paul Marsh, both these owners being Portsmouth residents.
Although far too young to be a ‘Mod’ in the 1960s, the vendor caught the post-Quadrophenia revival in the early 1980s and was on the lookout for a scooter to buy. Quite by chance he spotted ‘KRU 251F’ lying in a front garden in Southsea, Portsmouth and, recognising the registration number from ‘Quadrophenia’, knew that he had found Jimmy Cooper’s old bike. (It should be noted that as ‘Quadrophenia’ was set in the early 1960s, the registration’s ‘F’ suffix denoting 1967 was removed for the filming). A sale was negotiated and the Lambretta collected together with its accessories, which had been removed for safekeeping by the owner, Paul Marsh.
The machine’s restoration was commenced almost immediately but would not be properly completed until 1995, by which time the vendor was running his own scooter shop – Allstyles – in Portsmouth (It should be noted that, as is the case with most motorcycle restorations, some parts were replaced during the rebuild and prospective purchasers are advised to satisfy themselves with regard to the extent of this machine’s originality before bidding). In June of that year the ex-Jimmy Cooper Lambretta was pictured on the front cover of Scootering International magazine and featured in an accompanying article. Since then it has gone on to win various concours awards and been used for a host of promotional events, photo shoots, trade shows, etc, as well as featuring in other publications. When ‘Quadrophenia’ was re-released in January 1997, ‘KRU 251F’ attended the premiere in Brighton where it was reunited with Phil Daniels and other members of the original cast. Later that same year the ‘Jimmy Bike’ was used for filming at The Who’s Quadrophenia concert in Hyde Park, London and on location in Brighton.
For the past few years, ‘KRU 251F’ has been kept carefully stored inside the vendor’s house and is to the same specification today as it was back in 1979, including the Ken Cobbing sports exhaust system. The machine remains in excellent condition, although a certain amount of re-commissioning – new battery, carburettor clean, fresh petrol, etc – will be required before returning it to the road. Offered with current SORN and Swansea V5, ‘KRU 251F’ represents an exciting opportunity to acquire the ‘Jimmy Bike’, one of the most famous Lambrettas of all time.
Some good photos are included as well, see the link.
A sad farewell to hockey player/coach, pool hustler, old-west outlaw, parking-meter scofflaw, philanthropist, motorsports fan and team owner, and scooterist, Paul Newman. On top of all that, he made the best damn pretzel sticks known to mankind, and I’m not being glib. He was a great actor, and a great human being.
With all his superlative accomplishments in film, “Slap Shot” might not have been his most critically acclaimed movie, but what other film is so crass, funny, and ridiculous while being so well-acted, gritty and poignant? Hard times demand comedy, do yourself a favor and watch it soon.
Carl Sagan uses Paolo, an italian teenager on a Vespa, to explain travel at the speed of light. (from episode 8 of Cosmos.)
One question: why is that Tuscan kid (at 1:06) wearing a Cleveland Barons sweatshirt?
(Awesome link, Matt, thanks very much. I actually remember watching this very episode in my parents’ family room in 1980.)
Nashville musician Will Hoge was struck by a van on his way home from a recording session earlier this week. The officer’s description of the accident upset a lot of scooterists, and Hoges’ blog post is a beautifully-written first-person account of the confusion and pain and drama of a serious accident.
I don’t want to put words in Will’s mouth (he’s clearly much better with words than I am, even in his hospital bed), and we look forward to reading more of his perspective on the accident, which he’s promised to post, but his story drives home a point that seems obvious on the surface, but that most people forget from time to time:
A top priority in motorcycle and scooter safety (even above protective gear in my estimation) is giving your undivided attention to your surroundings. Anything can happen at any time, and it pays to be 100% aware and prepared for anything, always. I’ve posted before about how foolish it is to ride when you’re riled up after a near-accident or confrontation with a driver, but there are many other kinds of distractions, and the good (A good day at work, love, lust, or, in this case, the chance to work with Bruce Springsteen) can distract you just as much as the bad. I’ve had plenty of near-misses, most were avoided because I was carefully watching the road. Other near-misses were caused by lapses in my attention, and I was luckily saved by the other driver reacting quickly. Most accidents can be avoided if someone’s being careful, but it’s not smart to leave it up to the other guy. In most situations, it’s up to you to control your destiny, and you can never take another drivers’ actions for granted. It’s likely that Will was watching the road carefully and got creamed anyway, it happens all the time (and that’s where good protective gear sure doesn’t hurt), but he implies that he had a lot on his mind, and that the collision was a total surprise.
Get well fast, Will, The Boss will still be around when you’re ready. Our wishes are with you.
Andrea Pininfarina, the 51-year-old CEO of Italian car design company Pininfarina, died this morning when his Vespa collided with a car near Turin. Pininfarina was the grandson of legendary car designer Battista “Pinin” Farina. The company was famous for their designs for Ferrari and many other carmakers.
Thanks for the links, AxeYrCat and Ericalm
An excerpt from a Martha Stewart book:
Another entrepreneur whose intensity, curiosity, research, and devotion to quality impress me is a gentleman who first flagged me down on an East Hampton back road several years ago. I had decided to go for a ride on my turquoise Velocifero scooter and was zipping along when I heard a shout “Yo, Martha!” Across the street on his own turquoise scooter was Sean “Diddy” Combs, the rap star who used to be called Puff Daddy and then P. Diddy.
Thanks for the photo, Dawson.
This time it’s Jason Segal, of “Forgetting Sara Marshall” and “Freaks and Geeks.” Segal was rear-ended while he was standing up to stretch, leaving him standing safely as his Vespa was knocked out from under him. He says, “The guy thought I was crazy because I just started laughing hysterically. It was amazing.”
They sweet-talk their way out of scooter DUIs! So after you’re pulled over for weaving around Miami Beach at 4:11 AM, try telling the arresting officer “F**k you, I’m not drunk,” then later bragging “I’m friends with most cops in the city and they told me the guy who got me isn’t even liked by his colleagues. He’s a 400-pound f**k unfit for duty” Oh, wait, that only works for Mickey Rourke.
Oh, goody, more from fashion.ie:
Mickey had a passenger with him on the Vespa, but there’s no way anyone was getting a hold of her to testify. He doesn’t even know who the hell she was: Rourke said the mysterious blond riding on the back of the Vespa at the time of his arrest couldn’t have been used as a witness at a trial. “Don’t ask me her name,” Rourke says. “I have no idea who she was. I met her in a bar and never saw her again.”
And he’s looking good in the NY Post.
If you’re into the whole “celebrity sighting” thing, here’s Liev Schreiber on a Vespa GTS in Sydney.
Oh dear lord make it stop.
From Big Rye: Al Franken courts the Minnesota vintage scooterist vote.
Actor Mickey Rourke was arrested for drunk driving at 4:11 this morning in Miami Beach. He was “erratically” weaving around the road on a green 2007 Vespa.