12th Jul, 2023 11:00

National Motorcycle Museum | Solihull, West Midlands

  Lot 32

1968 Lambretta Li150 Special
One of only a handful of NYPD Innocentis to survive

Sold for £4,370

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: Unregistered
Frame No: 150Li3 743191
Engine No: SX150 72386
MOT: Exempt

  • Very late rare hybrid Li version for restoration
  • Impressive originality
  • Recently imported by a collector into the UK
  • Large haul of original NYPD scooter literature
  • Rare correct accessories including original NYPD scooter helmet

The New York Police Department, the largest force in the world, had been using scooters for patrol duties in various ways since 1964 initially with Cushmans then Vespas. In 1968 the NYPD ordered 274 Italian Innocenti Lambrettas and more again in 1969. These very late Italian models were painted in the white and green livery as were all NYPD vehicles at the end of the 1960s. It is widely known that the green paint was due to the strong contingent of Irish officers in the NYPD. In 1971 the NYPD wanted more Lambrettas and re-approached Innocenti who by then were in the ownership of BMC who had closed down the scooter side of the business. The enquiry was directed to the Spanish factory of Eibar who were making Lambrettas under license. They were ordered in white with blue cowls. In 1975 International Sportcycles issued a press release stating that the NYPD had ordered 366 more Lambrettas taking the whole fleet up to 1000 scooters across the 79 precincts. The last versions purchased were again Spanish supplied and again from the Eibar factory who were by then calling themselves Serveta. They were blue and white with much larger decals and indicators. The NYPD Lambrettas have been immortalised over the years by ‘The Incredible Scooter Cops’ Joe Willins ('Scooter Joe') and Kenny Kaufman with a book and and a new film is in production of their exploits. Any of the NYPD scooters that were still serviceable were sold off at various surplus auctions in the 1970s/80s, and very few survive. The whole story of the NYPD scooters can be seen in Classic Scooterist magazine issue Feb/March 2019.

Here we present what is believed to be a genuine 1968 Innocenti NYPD Lambretta. The scooter was found with holes conducive to original truncheon holder holes in the side panel, the exact correct original Green paint on the front mudguard and under the panels, and the chassis number being in the range of the NYPD Lambrettas sold at a surplus auction in 1974. Only a handful of this version of NYPD Lambretta are known to still exist.

It is also one of the last versions of the Italian made Li range. They are unusual in that they have an SX type headset, push in fork buffers, plastic GP type toolbox, an SX engine, rectangular badge. The SX type headset was necessary to house the ignition key switch which was a stipulation of the order. It is said that this order of 274 machines were purchased through the UK Lambretta Concessionaires who were able to match the specification required from their stock. Further information on this can be found in the article in Classic Scooterist Feb/March issue 2019. It is also similar to Lot 100 sold on 29th of March, albeit with the SX150 engine.

The scooter is presented in extremely original condition albeit with an amateur overpaint. The engine turns but has not been run. Still on 6v electrics with points, it appears fairly unmolested and is very complete. The vendor also managed to acquire the correct rear rack and the extremely rare correct USA made BUCO windscreen is supplied with the scooter. We noted that the original Pirelli tyres were still present. It also had the original tool kit and tool roll when found. Sold to the public in 1974 the scooter was last registered on the road in April 1977 as can be seen by the original license sticker still on the scooter and we believe has not been used since.

We also present here in this lot many original examples of NYPD Police memorabilia and history of the NYPD scooter and its background including:

  • A genuine NYPD scooter helmet
  • A very large number of Spring 3100 the in-house NYPD cop magazine and each has scooter or NYPD scooter equipment-related information within’
  • Copies of the New Yorker and Time magazine each with NYPD scooter information
  • Action pictures of the Innocenti Lambrettas on duty at the time
  • A large number of ‘Law and Order’ the national US cop magazine and each has scooter or NYPD scooter equipment-related information within’

For more information, please contact:
Paul Diamond
07768 313001


Auction: National Motorcycle Museum | Solihull, West Midlands, 12th Jul, 2023

An auction of classic motorcycles & vintage scooters taking place at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull, West Midlands.



Bidding will take place live at the venue, online via our website, by telephone and commission. 

Parking and entry into the auction is free for auction attendees with a catalogue, available at the door.

To enquire about entering your motorcycle or vintage scooter into auction please call our sales office on 01925 210035, email sales@HandH.co.uk or click the Get A Valuation button. Valuations are complimentary and without obligation.

To take part in the bidding please click 'Register to Bid | Sign In' at the top of the page




Wednesday 12th July 2023, from 9am

View all lots in this sale

All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

You can collect your new pride and joy from our venue until 1pm the day following the sale or our partners are on hand to help arrange safe transportation:


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