Rumoured by experts on Spanish model Lambrettas to be 10 times rarer than an Italian SX 200, this very early model ochre Jet 200 is one of only around 1000-1200 ever produced. Found in a leaky old shed, where it was stored for 37 years it’s now been restored and is back with the owner.
One of the men who helped to get this back in one piece and looking fresh is SLUK reader, Jerry. Here’s what he had to say…
We all hear about ‘shed’ or ‘barn’ finds, but rarely do we witness them personally. Early in 2020, a friend of mine (John Knott) received a telephone call from a business acquaintance which went something along the lines of “You do scooters, don’t you?”
Long story short. The scooter in question was a 1973 Jet 200, stored in boxes in a shed. John made contact with the owner (Gareth) and arranged to have a look, with me in tow. As it happened, the guy lived about 200 yards from me as the crow flies.
As described, the scooter was stored in boxes, in a rather ramshackle old shed – the years had not been kind to the old girl! Only one previous owner, and Gareth had kept everything. I’m not sure quite how we agreed to it, but the scooter was delivered to John’s with the brief to return it to the road. Then the journey began.
Despite being kept in boxes, the engine had to be stripped and vapour blasted, and several other components had to be disassembled. With everything stripped, the tinware was dispatched to the blasters, whilst John concentrated on the engine. I think it’s fair to say that the engine was relatively straightforward in comparison: full strip, bearings, seals, clutch, and piston all replaced. Back from the blasters, and some parts were beyond redemption. Second-hand parts had to be sourced, and mostly from Swiss Tony (Carl Newberry), who seems to have an endless supply of just what you need!
So, off to the painter. Now, I’ve known Tomek for a few years now- he’s a fellow Pole and has sprayed two of my scooters in the past. He is a perfectionist so his attention to detail is second to none. “It’ll be ready next month”, was his parting comment.
And then, Covid struck!
Fast forward about eight weeks, and we started to get the tins back bit by bit. Frame first, which meant we could get most of it together. Engine in, forks and wheels, then the electrics. What a bloody nightmare. We called on a good friend who is a wizard with electrics, only to discover we had bought the wrong loom! Oh well, you live and learn.
Eventually, we got all the metalwork back, and started the final build. The paintwork was exceptional.
We’d tried to salvage as many of the original badges as we could, which involved polishing them by hand, as with all the alloy bits. The years of storage had taken their toll.
We finished building the old girl.
The moment of truth, would it start? Yep, a bit spluttery at first, but it fired up a treat, and the lights all worked! The MOT was next, virtually twelve months from the day we received it, and it passed. The last MOT had been in 1983.
On the 16th of March, I had the pleasure of riding it around to Gareth’s. Not far, but far enough to know it went well. He was on the drive waiting for me, and I could see him smiling as I pulled up. He described the feeling as the same as when he had a Raleigh Chopper for his birthday as a child. Sadly, Gareth can’t ride the scooter yet, as his test was cancelled a week before he was due to take it because of the second lockdown.
Hopefully, when all this nonsense is over, he can take his test, and relive his youth like the rest of us, for a little while longer.
Big thanks to John Knott (mechanic), Tomek at TNC Body Repair for paint, Paul ‘Bowky’ Bowkett blasting, Swiss Tony, John Scimia (electrics), oh, and me for doing a bit too.
Would we do it again, NEVER, until the next time!
Words and photos: Jerry Kurek
Lambretta Jet 200 gallery