15th Nov, 2023 11:00

National Motorcycle Museum | Solihull, West Midlands

 
  Lot 119
 

1967 Lambretta SX200
Current owner over 55 years

Sold for £10,350

(including buyers premium)


Lot details

Registration No: KVF 1E
Frame No: 836717
Engine No: 836305
CC: 200
MOT: Exempt

  • Original paint Lambretta SX200
  • Currently owned for 55 years
  • Used in the 1969 I.O.M scooter week

Many regard the SX200 to be the finest scooter Innocenti produced, and possibly regarded as the best scooter ever made. The SX range retained most styling features of the TV 175/200 Series III which preceded it. The bodywork, however, was more angular and streamlined than that of the preceding Li models. Like the TV Series III, the headset housed a keyed ignition/light switch in the space where the standard Li had a simple kill switch. The SX200 had improved performance and gearing over the previous TV200 models. A quintessential Lambretta, SXs are extremely prized by collectors and the SX200 with its own uniquely styled panels and powerful motor is the absolute top of the scooter tree.

The vendor, a plumbing and heating engineer from Norfolk, knows every mark, indentation and blemish on his SX200. Why? Because he was there every inch of the 1967 Lambretta’s journey since 1968. Why is the head stock area devoid of paint? Well, the paint was never re-applied after an incident at a Brighton scooter rally in 1969.

Many years were spent in storage at the vendor’s dad’s garage and then his own, before being put back on the road in recent times, following more than 40 years laid up. The vendor paid £170 for priceless memories, experiences and camaraderie - referring to his days spent with the Norwich Broadsmen Scooter Club. The Broadsmen Scooter Club still exists today, and it’s where he met his future wife.

“She used to go on the scooters back in the day, but won’t go on it now, and isn’t overly keen on me riding it”

Just 18 when he bought the Lambretta from the Pointer Motor Company of Norwich, Ian has recently spent time reliving his partnership with ‘KVF 1E’.

“I was bloody nervous to start with…But it was great (to ride once more), it felt good. Riding it now, you still think of the old days. It’s an achievement to have it off the road that long and to get it back on again. I never thought about selling it because it’s special to me. It’s your teenage years, a carefree time which everyone looks back at. My parents weren’t very happy about me buying one,” he says. “I think I got a scooter because the people I went about with had scooters. If they’d had motorbikes I would probably have motorbikes in the garage now. I went down there once or twice on the Li (owned previously), until I hit someone walking in the road on a wet night – the six-volt lighting on scooters isn’t brilliant!” he says. “I clipped him and went sliding down the road. I wasn’t hurt, and he was OK, but it shook me up a bit so I didn’t ride it down there after that. I remember I used to go into a scooter shop in Cheshunt and drool over things.”

After the Li, the SX offered more power and was Innocenti’s top-of-the-range scooter - and in the Pointers showroom at the time.

“It just looked nice in the showroom. It was the first vehicle registered in that year, as you can see from the number plate: KVF 1E.”

The vendor’s machine wears a ‘Wildcat’ sticker, however, it remains in standard form, but still with enough pep to keep up with the traffic. And that 1969 incident in Brighton?

“I remember it being cold and involving a lot of riding. When we got there, someone asked me if they could have a ride on it. I said yes, but he was coming along Brighton front far too quickly. I put my hand up to slow him down and he did slow down, skidding along the deck. He didn’t hurt himself, he just hurt the bike. The headlamp cover, floorboards and panels were damaged. I spent most of the weekend searching out a new headlamp cover, which remains unpainted to this day.”

Oldham and Rochdale scooter clubs organised the Northern 200 navigation trial. One of many adventures for ‘KVF 1E’.

“We didn’t have a clue how to do a navigation trial. We were totally clueless, but we did it – I don’t know how. It was an absolutely foul night going up there. We went up in the car and some of the lads rode the bikes up for us and we rode them back. Coming back over the Pennines, the lads who had ridden up looked at one of the corners in the daylight and frightened the life out of themselves that they’d done it in the dark. I think it was an achievement to complete it and ride the bikes home from the other side of Manchester.”

A trip to the Isle of Man scooter week in 1969 followed…The experience gained in time and navigation trials stood Ian in good stead for a week-long programme of events, including the Manx 400, night navigation and hill climbing.

“It was a big thing at the time, going off into the unknown, my first holiday being away by myself,” he says, digging through a filing cabinet to find the original event programme. Six of us rode all the way there, and I ended up rebuilding the engine at the guest house where we stayed. An oil seal was going, so I stripped out the engine on the lawn of the guest house and fixed it. The Manx 400 involved, you guessed it, 400 miles around the TT course, which was open to general traffic, with just one break for lunch. Each lap was timed, and you also had to factor in petrol stops. You’d buy tokens in advance so you didn’t have to mess about with money, and drive into the garage and out as quickly as possible. I managed to do the whole 400 miles in about 12 or 13 hours without picking up any penalty points, for which I won a small trophy.”

“I went on a practice run, but the roads are so bumpy I hurt my back. I never knew there were so many unmade roads on the island.”

In the autumn, the vendor made the short trip to Snetterton for the 12-hour night trial, which involved timed laps of the old circuit, not much of which remains today.

We weren’t flat-out racing – I was never into that. You had to be in the right time window on each lap or get penalties for being too slow or too fast. I remember dodging rabbits and things like that in the dark, but we didn’t actually get to finish the event because of a bad accident. There was a big pile up on the pit straight, with some bikes slowing down because they’d done the lap too quick and others piling through the back speeding up. We thought, no, let’s forget it.”

A Mini van eventually took over as regular transport and the Lambretta began its retirement in his father’s garage.

I went more into repairing and rebuilding bikes, always Lambrettas. Rebuilding was a necessity with the first scooter because I could not afford to put it into a garage. I learned quickly how to do things and built up a 150 Special for my brother to go to the Isle of Man on in 1970. I’ve probably owned 10 or so Lambrettas over the years, including a 75cc Vega that someone gave me about 16 years ago that I’ve still got and am slowly restoring.”

Family life meant the SX’s retirement spanned across a number of garages over 46 years.

“I used it on the road until about 1972 and then it just laid in my dad’s garage. He was getting sick of it and all the other bits of scooter in there. I always knew it was there and I wanted to get it on the road, but pressure of business and pressure of family meant it didn’t happen for a long time. Eventually, it came here (to my house) in about 1990. It was running at the time, and about once a year, when I remembered, I’d clean the spark plug up and start it. The last time I did, I went down the slope in my garden, pulled the clutch and it didn’t disengage… panic! Luckily you can knock them out of gear, but I still went into the fence. I didn’t do any damage, but I then decided to strip the thing right down. I gave it a total engine rebuild, new clutch, new cables, and new tyres. The tyres looked OK, but do I want to be riding on 50+ year old tyres? No. The only hint of newness is the re-covered burgundy seat, the rest of the bodywork still bearing its original Blue and White paint, and its fair share of scars. ‘KVF 1E’ wears its 56 years on its panels, on its unpainted headlamp cover and on its chipped and scarred legshields and mudguard.”

For more information, please contact:
Mike Davis
mike.davis@handh.co.uk
07718 584217

 

Auction: National Motorcycle Museum | Solihull, West Midlands, 15th Nov, 2023

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