1965 Lambretta TV200

Highlights


  • Fully restored 2012-2014
  • Only 200 miles covered since 2014
  • Over £1600 spent since 2017, including cylinder rebore in March 2022
  • MoT with no advisories until February 2023

The Appeal


In the 1950s, the Italian scooter, which had been conceived as cheap utilitarian transport for cash-strapped commuters, suddenly became something else: a chic symbol of modern style. Impressed by their neat, minimalist design and swept away by romantic visions of la dolce vita in Rome, all cobbled streets and insouciant cafés, anyone who was young, hip and Modern in Britain in the ’60s coveted a Lambretta to accompany their bum-freezer suits and cool jazz LPs.

Lambretta was not oblivious to its newfound fortunes, and it responded accordingly. Its plainer, more rounded designs of the ’50s gave way to a narrower, more streamlined look dressed up with chrome flashes and two-tone colour schemes. Much of the appeal of scooters lay in the fact that they were also enormously fun to ride, being so quick and nimble, and this was another quality Lambretta knew to develop, with bigger, faster engines joining the line-up through the 1960s.

On its launch in 1963, the TV200 made waves. The popularity of the TV175 prompted Lambretta to introduce what was essentially the same, but with a bigger, faster engine. A 70mph maximum speed was pretty much unheard of for a scooter, and British scooterists loved it. Commonly known as the GT200 as it was sometimes marketed as the Gran Tourisme on account of its speed and comfort, it was very much the scooter to have until production ended in 1965, after just 14,982 had been constructed.

The vendor owned it a TV200 in his youth and loved it so much he felt he had to have another, but he realises he isn’t able to give it the use it deserves. Having been the recipient of an extensive restoration in 2014, with only 200 miles covered in the following years and a cylinder rebore earlier this year, it really does have everything going for it.



The History and Paperwork


  • Purchased as a barn-find by the previous owner who set about comprehensively restoring it, with help from Rayspeed, from 2012 to 2014, when it was registered with the DVLA
  • Illness forced its sale, and the vendor purchased it in 2015
  • Scarcely ridden since then and never taken out in the rain, the vendor now realises it’s time someone else had the opportunity to enjoy it
  • Paperwork includes the current V5, some invoices from the restoration, all the MoT certificates and invoices obtained since 2015, a dating certificate from the Vintage Motor Scooter Club, a registration certificate from the DVLA, original owner’s handbooks and manuals, and a Complete Spanner’s Workshop Manual

The Condition


  • Outstandingly good paint
  • Never taken out in the rain since restoration
  • Supplied with a choice of two seats

Considering that this bike was fully restored eight years ago and has scarcely been ridden since, its condition is every bit as good as you would expect it to be. Obviously, it was repainted at the time of its restoration and its eye-catching metallic blue has lost none of its lustre. In fact, since the vendor hasn’t even taken it out in the rain, it’s scarcely had an opportunity to get dirty, never mind damaged.

So far as we can see, the Lambretta remains more or less immaculate. While there may be the slightest evidence of cosmetic wear on such parts as the handlebar grips, it really is a struggle to find fault with it. We did notice one very small paint blemish on the footboards but, overall, the paint and the trim on this scooter can quite reasonably be summarised as ‘excellent’.

While the scooter appears in the photographs wearing a more modern style of seat, which may not appeal to purists, we might point out first of all that said seat is probably more comfortable than the original and will be greatly appreciated on long-distance rides but, more importantly, the recovered original seat is included in the sale, so you can swap them around as you see fit. More period-correct grey handlebar grips are also included, along with a rear-view mirror.

A new replacement Italian centre stand was purchased and fitted in 2021.



The Mechanics


  • Hundreds of pounds spent recently with Chiselspeed Tuning Ltd.
  • Subtly upgraded with Polini carburettor and Gori exhaust
  • Fully serviced in 2021
  • Cylinder rebored in March 2022

Considering what we already know about this Lambretta—its restoration, recent usage and outward condition—we should be surprised if it is in anything less than the very best mechanical condition. While we’ve not had an opportunity to witness it run, the regular maintenance from which it has benefitted while receiving only very light use suggests to us that it must be in fine health.

Despite little use since 2015, the Lambretta is very much on the road and does not require recommissioning. It was MoTed in February and passed without a single advisory, so we wouldn’t hesitate to jump on it and use it. The vendor assures us, “It’s running sweetly.”

As far as the engine goes, it has benefitted from much expenditure and many new parts during the vendor’s ownership. In 2017, it received a new Polini carburettor and a Gori 50mm exhaust system. In 2021 it was given a full service by Chiselspeed and, earlier this year, Chiselspeed rebored and honed the cylinder, obviously installing a new piston at the same time.

The old carburettor and KC exhaust are included in the sale.



The Summary


The TV200 was a highly desirable scooter when new and is perhaps even more so today. With fewer than 15,000 made, it was always rare and exclusive, and its 70mph top speed gave its proud owners special bragging rights at any gathering of scooterists.

It’s appeal is obvious, but what could be better than a fully restored one with a newly rebored engine, plus a selection of spares which allow you to quickly switch between its original specification and an upgraded modern one? Frankly, if you can find another TV200 for sale, we doubt it’ll be as good as this. What’s more, with their value increasing, now has to be the time to buy.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1965
  • Make Lambretta
  • Model TV200
  • Colour Metallic blue and Bianco Nuovo
  • Odometer 22,899 Miles
  • Engine size 198
  • Town York
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Yorkshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
19 bids
  • wilkins•••• £11,000 18/08/22
  • praesen•••• £10,750 18/08/22
  • john-al•••• £10,500 18/08/22
  • wilkins•••• £10,250 18/08/22
  • Paul Ni•••• £10,000 18/08/22
  • john-al•••• £9,900 18/08/22
  • praesen•••• £9,700 18/08/22
  • john-al•••• £9,500 18/08/22
  • praesen•••• £9,300 18/08/22
  • john-al•••• £9,100 18/08/22

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