Phil Aynsley tracks down a unique Lambretta 250 Grand Prix Racer
Sometimes things just work out. Many years ago I saw an old period B&W photo of a 1950s racing Lambretta in a book. It was a beautiful looking thing but there was almost no information about it and I was never able to find out anything more.
Fast forward to 2010 and I was looking through the posts on a bike forum and there was a link to photos taken at a classic meeting in Europe. One of the pics caught my eye (I forget what bike it was) and in the way of these things I was soon browsing on another website – where much to my astonishment, there was a recent shot of the Lambretta!
Luckily there was enough information to track it down and I was able to make contact with the owner. The following year I was able to photograph it in Milan.
Originally shown at the 1951 Milan Show as a dry sump, SOHC design, the 250GP evolved into a wet sump, DOHC bike by the time it was retired in 1953.
This bike (number one of the two built) was discovered by Lambretta enthusiast Vittorio Tessera, abandoned under a pile of rubbish after the factory was closed in 1972.
The bike was designed by Giuseppe Salmaggi and raced, not particularly successfully, by Romolo Ferri and Cirillo “Nello” Pagani.
The 54×54 bore/stroke V-twin motor used a shaft drive, with the overall transverse V-twin design predating the famous Moto Guzzi layout by some 13 years.