March of the Mods: Lambretta owned by Paul Weller heads to auction
An iconic Lambretta scooter once owned by ‘The Modfather’ Paul Weller is expected to draw unprecedented interest as it goes under the hammer at H&H Classics’ auction at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull next month.
The former Style Council and The Jam frontman bought the 1968 Lambretta SX200 in 1991 as he was working on his second solo album, Wild Wood. A famous photograph of Weller, plus bandmates Steve White and Marco Nelson, riding the SX200 three-up appeared as part of the album’s artwork. It also featured in the ‘Friday Street’ video, the second single from Weller’s 1997 Heavy Soul album.
The Town Called Malice star once claimed he’d never sell the white scooter, but ultimately decided to autograph and donate it to the Teenage Cancer Trust to be auctioned at the Royal Albert Hall in 2002. Following a further sale, it was purchased by a huge Paul Weller fan and has been kept as part of a collection for the last 20 years.
Paul Diamond, scooter specialist at H&H Classics said: “Since the 1960s, Lambrettas have been the definitive symbol of the Mod scene, so to have one with close connections to the movement’s most recognisable musician is a real privilege. To be featured in album artwork and a music video is proof that the scooter was dear to Paul Weller’s heart.
“These associations, plus its outstanding condition, means this is a piece of bona fide pop memorabilia that will appeal as much to Paul Weller fans as it will to a legion of scooter enthusiasts the world over.”
The Lambretta SX200 is not only considered the best that Italian firm Innocenti built, but possibly the best scooter ever made. It was faster and handled better than any Innocenti before it and built a cult following amongst British scooter racers in the 1960s.
It is understood this Lambretta SX200 was the only scooter Paul Weller bought with his own money as a famous musician. It’s thought that Weller initially tried to buy another which was already sold, but saw this in The Scooter Shop in his hometown of Woking as it was being prepared for sale, and bought it instead.
The ‘Weller Lambretta’, which is tipped to fetch between £19,000 and £21,000, is a late production example, and was first registered in the UK on 9th July, 1968. It retains the white engine side casing and kick start that can be seen in Weller’s contemporary photographs, and the chrome toolbox door and chrome fuel flap are as they were when he bought it.
More recently, the scooter has been subject to an extensive refresh, and comes with an £8,778 receipt for mechanical fettling and bodywork from leading specialist Armandos Scooters. The keys are original and are likely those used by Weller throughout his ownership.
It has been subject to a handful of useful upgrades, with a 12-volt electric conversion and long-range fuel tank, while a larger Dellorto carburettor and big bore exhaust have been fitted to aid performance.
The scooter will be sold with a range of memorabilia underlining its provenance, including a photograph of Paul outside The Scooter Shop and a V5 logbook showing his real name and the date of purchase.
Other documents that form part of the lot include a copy of Weller biography ‘Days lose their names and time slips by’ showing him with the scooter, copies of Scootering Magazine with Weller and his Lambretta on the cover, a copy of The Sun newspaper praising him for donating the scooter to its Teenage Cancer Trust campaign, and correspondence from Christies auctioneers when it was included in its 2003 pop memorabilia sale.
Paul Weller’s Lambretta will be one of more than 150 lots to go under the hammer at H&H Classics’ sale at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull on 12th July.
Other highlights include a Vespa once owned by Italian gangster Valerio Viccei who masterminded the £60m Knightsbridge safety deposit box robbery, a prototype BSA which lays claim to being the first ‘cruiser’ motorcycle and a Harley Davidson owned by TV presenter and leading custom bike builder, Guy ‘Skid’ Willison.
Fans wishing to bid on Paul Weller’s scooter or any of the other lots can do so on the day in person, via online or telephone bidding, or by leaving a commission bid. For further details or to register to bid, visit www.handh.co.uk.