Lambretta and Scooter Heaven Part One
With Phil Aynsley
In 2011 I found myself on the outskirts of Milan to photograph a bike I had been trying to find for many years – Lambretta’s 250 GP racer (Lambretta 250 Grand Prix Racer – LINK). However the collection that it is a part of, “Casa Lambratta” is such a wonderful place that I thought it would be worth a detailed look.
Here is Part 1 where you can see a general overview. Part 2 will show a selection of the scooters in more detail. I revisited a couple of years later so these images are from both visits.
To be accurate the correct name of the collection is “Museo Scooter & Lambretta” but as it is housed above Vittorio Tessera’s Casa Lambretta workshop and offices it is by that name it is best known.
Vittorio has been a Lambretta fan since his father bought one in the ‘60s when Vittorio was a child. In 1981 he formed a Lambretta club which has since grown to over 3000 members!
In 1985 the Innocenti family, realising his dedication to their brand, offered him access to the company archives and donated numerous rare models to his collection This fascination grew to encompass all things scooter and in 2004 his collection was formally recognised and added to Milan’s museum registry.
There is a main hall which all the Lambrettas are displayed. A scale model of the Innocenti factory takes pride of place in the centre. Countless Lambrettas, of all flavours, take up the rest of the hall. Rare examples include a Model A with frame number 2, Jane Mansfield’s gold-plated TV175, a 1949 three-wheeled FB and many others.
A smaller hall is dedicated to Lambretta’s competition machines and this is where the 250GP is to be found.
While the Lambretta brand is perhaps not quite as famous as its traditional rival Vespa, over four million were produced in the nearby Lambrate factory from 1947 to 1971. In addition they were built under licence in South America, Asia, India, Spain, Germany and France.
Additional halls hold scooters from all around the world, over 160 in total.