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We love to hear your scooter travelling and adventure stories at ScooterLab. If you’ve got a story to tell and want to share it with SLUK readers around the world feel free to get in touch. Thanks to Tim Wilson for sending this one in. Our intrepid travellers are inspired by Jaws and a mythical creature called Mr Lambretta. 
 
In the Beginning, there was a Ginger joker called Jaws, and he’d recently uncovered the whereabouts of a “mythical garden” somewhere in Kent. There were numerous mutterings over the years, of an urban myth from within the scooter scene; “Have you heard about that house somewhere in Kent with all them scooters in the garden?” Apparently, the eccentric owner used to wander along the seafront with a sandwich board front and back, claiming “I buy scooters.” Well, it’s not as mythical as once thought, ‘cos it’s true there is! Well, was, because the scoots are no longer there!
 
The not so mythical home of Mr David Lambretta
The not so mythical home of Mr David Lambretta
In Kent, where scooters came to die...
In Kent, where scooters came to die…
 
The return of Jaws
 
That’s thanks to a lad called Jaws, who was involved in a property deal regarding said house and then removed all the remaining scoots and spares with the help of Big Monty, T and Big Dave. Most were put back into the market place for spares or restoration via eBay, but they kept a couple each for themselves. Jaws, had the brilliant idea of restoring a Lambretta 150 Special that he’d kept from the scooter graveyard. His idea was to tour the continent on it, accompanied in part by his young son Louis, and generally, make merry for a month or two. As it was, his trip turned out to be a mere taster for the grand adventure that was to follow, when he would be accompanied by three fellow scooter nutters in an epic journey from the London suburbs to Lucca in Italy.
A chance encounter with Lucca Lambretta Club
A chance encounter with Lucca Lambretta Club
 
Lucca Lambretta Club
 
Lucca might seem like an odd destination to head to, but on their first trip Jaws and Louis had spotted a group of Lambrettas parked up by a pub as they headed through the town. The scooters turned out to belong to members of the Lucca Lambretta Club and after sharing stories and comparing bikes, Jaws promised to return the following year to join the club in their 10th-anniversary celebrations. And so it was that preparations were made to get three beautiful 1960s Lambrettas (and one 1960s Vespa, having been given an honorary pass by the club) ready to undertake the 2300-mile trip across plains, passes and mountains, and raise money in the process for local charity MERU who design specialist equipment for disabled children.
 
 
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The scooters and their riders (from left to right) were as follows

 

  • Martin Lloyd (Mart): Owner and landlord of the Crown and Anchor pub, astride The Green Meany, a 1965 SS90, running a Polini Evo top end built by Atoms producing 15 bhp
  • Mark Tatum (T): Old Bill astride Stax, a 1962 S2 LI 150, running a 200cc Mugello top end, 60 stroke crankshaft, Cyclone 5-speed, engine built by Chiselspeed producing 15.5 bhp
  • Mark Grieves (Jaws): Property developer/civil engineer astride Tinkerbell, a 1965 S3 LI150 special, running an SS 225cc top end, 62 stroke crankshaft, Cyclone 5-speed, engine built by Chiselspeed producing 30 bhp
  • Tim Wilson (Timmy): Design engineer, astride Troll, a 1971 S3 150 Spanish Silver Special, running a 200cc Mugello top end, 66 stroke Chiselspeed crankshaft, Crimaz 5-speed box, engine built by Chiselspeed producing 20 bhp

Gratefully accompanied by Mark’s neighbour, Gerry Hall, who kindly drove the backup van carrying spares, tools and an extra scooter – just in case!

 
Contenders ready?

 

With seven months between the date the trip was agreed and the departure date (July 8th 2018), all set about getting their scooters ready for the trip. Jaws and Mart were both confident that their bikes were good to go, but T and Timmy both had a lot of work to do to get their trusty steeds roadworthy.

 

T had completely rebuilt the chassis for his scooter ‘Stax’, but with two weeks to go before ‘D Day’ his engine was still in bits in the kitchen. Timmy offered him his spare Mugello engine which they ended up fitting one night in his living room, just in time for him to do a shakedown ride and feel reassured about the build.

 

Timmy had decided to rebuild and restore Troll but was running to a very tight schedule and was reliant on the skills of numerous others to finish it, most notably his long-suffering friends Andrew at Primus Quality Coatings who would be doing the paint job, and Martin from Chiselspeed who would be doing the engine.

 

If all else failed Timmy would always have Tarby, his blue and black 1959 S1, running a 205 Honda engine he built, with a cyclone 5-speed box and a stage four tune from Ian Frankland, producing 15 bhp (with a good mag-side bearing…). Tarby was to be the backup scooter. It could have done with a new flywheel bearing, which Tim hoped to fit before they left, but as the deadline approached and with work on Troll continuing right up until the 11th hour, it was decided that Tarby might survive with a dodgy mag side bearing after all – providing she wasn’t caned!

 

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8 pm Thursday 5th July 2018, Crown and Anchor pub, Bromley

 

With only two days to go the scooters and riders assembled for a pre-departure photo shoot at Martin’s pub with MERU charity staff and supporters. MERU kindly supplied 6 Bugzi-Saurus teddies to be strapped to the bikes and van as mascots for the trip. Martin strapped his to the front rack on his scoot, and there it would stay for the duration, along with his colour-coded petrol can, all green and mean! 

 

Luckily, Martin's Vespa broke down close to a French protester
Luckily, Martin’s Vespa broke down close to a French protester

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