Registration No: Unregistered
Frame No: 551835
Engine No: 553974
Launched in March 1962, the Lambretta TV175 Series 3 was notable as the first scooter to feature an internal disc brake. Far sleeker than its predecessor with revised ‘slim styling’, the newcomer also utilised larger silent blocks to isolate engine vibrations and had a very good reputation as a smooth and well-balanced scooter with great handling attributes. The larger engined TV200 quickly followed the TV175 slim style in early 1963 at the specific request of the British importer, Lambretta Concessionaires, who wanted an even more powerful model to satisfy their customer base. Genuine TV200 Lambrettas were badged as GT200s to differentiate them from the lesser TV175s. The first versions had Li-style panels and the later versions had SX-type panels with polished flashes.
The Manx Grand Prix for amateur motorcycle riders began in 1923 on the roads of the Isle Of Man and was a very competitive event. Along with the famous TT races that had started in 1907, these annual festivals of motorcycling were firm fixtures in the motoring calendar. With the boom of scooters in the late 1950s came ‘Scooter Holiday Week’ in which eventually thousands of scooterists would make their way at the end of June each year to the island. The scooter version of motorcycle racing became very close fought and rankings were earned each year in the ‘Manx 400’ a tough speed trial and endurance race. The scooter magazines of the day covered the results afterwards. Scooter Holiday Week ran from 1957 to 1976.
This astonishing GT200 is understood to have belonged to Mr. A. J. Kaye of London from new until 2022. Furthermore, Mr Kaye is believed to have campaigned it not only at the Isle of Man Scooter Holiday Week each year from 1965 to 1969, but also at Brands Hatch and Snetterton. The Lambretta then seems to have been put away and remained undiscovered until his sad passing when it was offered to a house clearance company. Many pictures are available showing Mr Kaye racing on the island. His participation is also mentioned in various race programmes. We can deduce from the information in the IOM Scooter Holiday Week programmes and on the machine itself that he was allocated Number 105 in the Manx 400 for 1966. Unfortunately, there was a ferry strike that year so he was re-allocated the same number the following year. By 1968 he had worked his way up to Number 31 and in 1969 he was Number 21. The scooter is showing 33,000 miles on the original MPH speedometer. And there the lines of enquiry abruptly stop. Our vendor spoke to the house clearance agent and was told that the original owner had recently died and that was all he knew. The scooter also tells its own story by way of the stickers and badges all over the bodywork. It appears that in addition to racing in the places we mentioned the late Mr Kaye was also a Puch Alpine fan and a member of both BLOA - The original British Lambretta Owners Association and LASCA - The London Area Scooter Clubs Association and attended the International Southend Lambretta Rally in 1967. We also see the original Arthur Francis Team Equipe sticker that came off the scooter. More pictures of the first owner and information about him are emerging and will be added to the description as we receive it.
Originally White, the scooter was repainted Maroon early in its life with its plethora of stickers being applied thereafter. The registration number ‘HGY 310C’ was issued in the Croydon area where Lambretta Concessionaires were based.
On examination of the scooter there is much to highlight such as a period conversion to 12-volt electrics. This was a rare intervention in 1965 and we believe that this would have been carried out by Lambretta Concessionaires in Croydon. The scooter retains 12-volt electrics but is still on points which is also very rare. We also noted the 12-volt fuse and holder in the battery tray while the main battery was positioned in the under-seat toolbox. The toolbox itself has been hard wired onto the frame (i.e no rubber) for earthing purposes. There is a Smiths amp meter and 12v Carrello main spotlight for night racing. There is also a socket under the seat powered from the main battery into which plugs an accessory hand held light on a long cable to enable one to see all around the scooter in the dark. The scooter when found had an elaborate map reading console created using the original top of the headset fitting and a number of lights on it for night vision (this is no longer on the scooter but accompanies the lot). A standard headset top has been used and colour blended. There are other switches including one mounted on the original Ulma/Nannucci metal leg shield tool box for the spotlight. There is an additional resistor-type switch below the under-seat tool box but we do not know its purpose. We noted that the centre of the flywheel cowl had been cut out to enable quick access to the points while on the road.
The scooter has been the subject of a complete ‘nut and bolt’ conservation for a client at Disco Dez Scooters and has been meticulously dismantled and almost all original parts carefully put back into place. Some used parts were sourced but only if necessary (pic of bill is included). During this process the following observations could be made. The engine is completely original as a TV200 with the same piston returned back into the original cylinder albeit with new rings and a slight oversize rebore. The original crankshaft was put back with new bearings and it was noted that the gears are the original standard with standard clutch. There did not appear to be any tuning done save possibly a slightly jetted air intake. The originality can be seen all over the body work with badges untouched and in place. It was noted that the under-seat air intake had been cut out inside to aid the flow of air into the carburettor. The exhaust appears standard but it has a strengthening modification between the box and tail pipe. Also, the top silencer bolts are oversized again possibly as a strengthening measure. The left side clutch lever is an original 60s Cuppini accessory and the right front brake lever is the correct screw-on ball end type. The original Noemi Rosa seat was discovered covered with an original Ken Cobbing Red leopard detail seat cover. The only other unsalvageable items were the carburettor and a correct spec Scootopia version has been fitted, the control switch and the front fibre glass mudguard (a correct fibreglass type replacement has been fitted and colour blended). The original fibre glass mudguard is supplied with the lot as are the interesting spares; cables, puncture repair kit, bulbs and oil pots.
We have seen the scooter running in ‘excellent’ mechanical condition following the conservation and our consultant was able to ride it some distance at the time of consignment. It is very rare for this kind of scooter to come onto the market. A GT200 in highly original condition, we expect there to be plenty of interest in ‘HGY 310C’ just as there would have been when it was new.
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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.
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Wednesday 12th July 2023, from 9am
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