We’d allowed a little more than a couple of hours to ride down to Coventry for the Vintage Motor Scooter Club’s Annual Extravaganza, to allow for any confusion over the B-roads route we had chosen and also the fact I was riding my 1956 Lambretta Model D Racer.
A warm spring morning made for a pleasant journey and I had a least half an hour upon arrival to polish my Red Devil, it was displayed alongside Howard Chamber’s latest Devil, Number 14, based on a D125. With hardly any dirt on it however, I took the time instead to check out the other scooters that had been entered into the show, and as always at the VMSC event it was certainly an eclectic mix.
While the commonly known anniversaries this year are 70 years of the Lambretta and 40 years of the Vespa PX, lovers of all things British were celebrating 60 years of DKR scooters, with an almost complete model range of Capella, Defiant, Dove, Manx and Pegasus scooters proudly on show. Yes I know I like strange brews, but that is a sight I’d wager not seen since a visit to your local DKR dealer in the early 1960s. Maybe.
Also flying the British flag were the BSA Sunbeam/Triumph Tigress Owners Interest Group, with five examples of what many consider the finest British scooter built, including a scramble version.
The Moto-Rumi Club also had a small display, a common sight at the VMSC, although for myself and many others the real joy with these is listening to owners start up their little 2-stroke twins afterwards as they exit. They may only be 125s but I love the sound of a little Rumi at full chat.
Speaking of which, Graham Fisher’s little race replica first version Rumi, alongside his friend Terry’s D Racer replica made for a striking pair of period scooters. Having seen and heard Graham’s other Rumi out at events in the past, I hope it won’t be long before this also sees action on the tarmac.
Other exotica included a Cushman Eagle, which despite it’s mini-motorbike style attracted a lot of attention (note to Mark, owner of Lower Class, your Tufty took a healthy if potentially expensive interest in that!), and an IWL Berlin – USA meets East Germany, a Cold War battle in a Coventry sports centre!
On to the more common marques, and the Lambretta range was well represented with a Model B, Lambretta 48, C, D, and couple of gorgeous TV Series 1s (including Rob Miller’s original two-tone version), along with a SSDT replica and gorgeous modern take on a C racer. A couple of nicely finished SX200s were good to see, along with a well-ridden original 1960s/70s GP shop racer too.
The classic Vespa range was a little smaller, but as significant; Darren Williams’ Mk1 GS160 being a particular favourite although that was pipped to the post for me by the German spec Rally 200 complete with handlebar end indicators. But I do love a good Rally. Then again, the pedal start V50 is also an interesting machine…
Despite the ‘Vintage’ club running the show, it also attracts quality custom scooters too, such a the aforementioned Lower Class (as seen here on SLUK) which deservedly took home trophies for Best Street Racer and Creative Engineering. A 50 Special muralled with Batman’s The Joker won Best Custom Vespa on the day.
Elsewhere there was plenty of metalflake to admire on both Lambrettas and Vespas (who doesn’t like a bit of 80s metalflake, eh?), while Pink Floyd made a return to the custom circuit, offering strong competition to newly finished scooters such as the amazing (in my opinion) Atomic, Spirit of the Lake and The Troubles.
I could go on and list every bike shown, but if you were there you saw them all, and also the others parked outside (bolstered as always by the large ride-in around midday), of which there some equally impressive scooters gleaming in the sunshine for all to admire. Oh and there was also an RB-powered Lambro three-wheeler which we hope to bring you more of soon.
So with all of our ScooterNova postcards and leaflets distributed, a handful of SLUK stickers handed out, the winners were awarded their trophies and I packed up the D before quite literally headed off into the sunset, aiming to be home before it finally settled beyond the horizon.
That said, what a beautiful day to be riding your scooter, hey folks?
Text: Andy Gillard
Main images: Sticky