From knacker to cracker – Lambretta S2 build | FEATURE
The process of turning a rustic relic into a head-turner can be fraught with hidden perils, as can owning more scooters than the missus deems to be strictly necessary. Even so, writing one-off in order to build the scooter you forgot to tell her about isn’t always the safest option. SLUK reader, Jerry tells us how this one came about…
Purchased for £900 in 2018, the ownership of a Series 2 had interested me for some time. Already owning two scooters (a TV 200 replica, and an Indian GP TS1 230), I would have to hide the purchase until I was in a position to dispose of one of the others. However, things don’t always go to plan, do they?
You must be jesting?
Attending the Jesters do in Leek, I loaned the TS1 to a then-friend, as his scooter was off the road. Having been assured that he was adequately insured. I think you know where this is going! On our return journey, he met with an accident (not his fault). This is when the story goes sour. To cut a very long story short, he wasn’t insured, and the scoot was potentially a write-off. Fast forward, and I recovered my costs eventually – friendship ended.
I was now in a position to commence the strip-down and rebuild of the Series 2.
Long range forecast
The strip was straightforward enough, so all usable parts were assembled, and the shopping list was compiled. Louvre vents were cut into the leading edges of the side panels, toolbox frenched, and the frame sent to Mr Phoenix to be jigged. Nothing major, just a few tweaks, new cross members, and the fuel filler modified. I cut the original tank mounts from the frame as a long-range tank was to be fitted.
I also had to trim the running boards to accommodate the motor, with hindsight, I should have trimmed a bit more off! Then it all went away for blasting. No major issues revealed, so off to paint. I decided on BMW Nightfire Red and a British Leyland off white. The guy that painted the scoot had a Riley Elf in for restoration in the same colours, so the decision was easily made.
Whilst sitting around waiting for it to be returned, I stripped the Indian TS1 of its engine, stainless tank, and seat for use on the S2. Forks were rebuilt, BGM dampers fitted and I was awaiting the frame. The rebuild went quite well, with the usual idiosyncrasies of Lambrettas to deal with but, all in all, fairly straightforward.
It’s always a nervy time when you start a rebuild, frightened to death of scratching anything! I also fitted grilles to the inside of the panels just to add a bit of interest. The front mudguard was a pain, and was fitted and removed several times before I was happy.
From purchase to assembly took around 12 months, which, on balance, wasn’t too bad. I am very pleased with the result, and I’m indebted to Mike Phoenix, Tomek at TNC Body Repairs, John Knott for technical advice/help, Will Good of WGF Fabrications for welding, and everyone else who wielded a spanner/socket in anger.
The scoot handles really well, but, economical it ain’t, and it doesn’t like going slow! Advice when building a scoot. If you are thinking of setting a budget beforehand, don’t, you’ll exceed it, and always buy the best. Buy cheap, buy at least twice!
Words and photos: Jerry Kurek
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