'John’s 'S' Type Lambretta'
Visitors to the January Scooter World show in 2019, might have seen John Ronald’s Lambretta proudly displayed alongside other scooters on The Team S Equipe stand. For those that didn’t here's another chance to see an 'S' type owned and built by one of the original 'S' type pioneers.
Back in 1963, John Ronald competed on a series 3 Lambretta TV175 on the Isle of Man. This would be his first Isle of Man event and the start of him winning many events on the island, amongst other places. Between 1963 and 1964, Arthur Francis spent most of his spare time experimenting with his own Lambretta TV200, doing some mild tuning to the scooter. The work that was carried out produced a definite improvement. He then asked a design expert to produce a paint scheme and a sports rear carrier for the scooter. The result was the Sebring rear carrier and a two tone AF paint scheme.
Fast forward to November 1965 and Arthur had a stand at the Brighton show. On the stand was display one of his TV200 'S' Types. Following the show Arthur experience a fantastic response to the scooter and received numerous enquiries from as far afield as America.
The scooter you see here, 721 TV, was registered in Stoke-on-Trent on August 30, 1963. At the time it was a standard TV175 and it would remain that way until 2016.
During the late 1960's John and his brother Norman were riding for Team S Equipe, along with Nev Frost and other scooterists who would later become well-known sportsmen, both as part of Team S Equip and as individuals. This period of time would see the ’S’ Type machines being built and sold around the UK.
Success at scooter events by John, Norman, Nev and other riders such as Nick Barnes on their 'S' type machines was probably the best marketing tool Arthur could have had after all what better advert for your product could you have than skilful riders winning events throughout the UK and on the continent ?
In 2016 John was contacted by occupational therapist who he'd worked with at Selly Oak Hospital during the early 1960's. She asked John if he had any idea how much a Lambretta TV175 was worth? Her husband had recently died as she wanted to sell the scooter. John asked as to what condition the scooter was in, and was told that it had been dismantled and was all in boxes.
A chat with brother Norman saw them heading down to Devon to have a look. What they found was probably not what they expected to find most of the scooter was in big blue plastic barrels and rusting away. A fair offer was made and the scooter passed into the ownership of John. It was loaded up and taken back to the Midlands, to start its new scooter life in the UK.