Introduction

The Italian scooter gem, the Lambretta, represented a family of vehicles that first saw their birth in the city of Milan. Situated in the northern plains of Italy just after crossing south from the Alps, the Innocenti factory in Milan saw the very first Lambretta scooters come off the assembly line and the last Italian made ones as well.

While the Lambretta line did not continue life as it’s slightly older cousin, the Vespa scooter, the original Italian make of the scooter still enjoyed a long run, nonetheless. Other countries subsequently enjoyed licensing of the Lambretta line such as Spain, Germany, Brazil, Argentina and the current producer, India.

In the U.S. the Lambretta is considered a classic, vintage vehicle which is a good thing. Given the increasingly stringent exhaust requirements being imposed on vehicle registrations today, particularly in environmentally-conscious states such as California, two-stroke engines are quickly being kicked off the road for good. Air pollution regulations are making it near impossible to register any kind of a new two-stroke engine in such regions. Vintage vehicles, however, are currently exempt from such restrictions. In this respect, both Lambretta and Vespa fans benefit from America’s love affair with cars and automotive history. Europe, on the other hand, is another story. Aggressive European Union regulations are proactively hunting down scooters that don’t pass pollution rules. At the going rate, there may be a time when vintage Lambrettas only exist in the U.S. and not in the country that gave them birth. The past was not so unforgiving.

Tom Lutzenberger, Series 2 Lambretta, Sacramento, California, 2003.