It was clear the project would need some work, but initially it wasn't clear just how much. All the panels were taken of to be dipped and cleaned and then an assessment was made of what could be saved and what would need replacing. When the panels were returned, most of them looked like lace curtains, John was able to see right through. Fortunately, the frame and the forks were good.
The rebuild of the scooter saw everything being stripped down and assessed and then rebuilt. The lace curtain-style side panels and leg-shields would ditch in favour of replacement items from Buzz Solomoto in Halifax. The alloy handlebars had to be alloy welded and this was carried out by Western Scooters in Weston-Super-Mare. Johns local scooter dealer, Scooter Restorations, provided a lot of the small parts.
On stripping the TV175’s engine, it was clear that at the complete rebuild was going to be in order of the day; con rod, crankshaft, piston and cylinder re-bore has seen the 175 capacity retained, the engine has had all new bearings and oil seals fitted; the clutch and chain were also replaced.
The gearbox, when stripped, revealed that a tooth was missing from one of the gear cogs and the gears were well worn. The layshaft was found to be okay, but new double seal bearings were fitted. Now that the layshaft and bearings had been precisely fitted, it was found that a lot of work had to be completed to make sure that the end plate fitted properly. To finish off with the engine had an AF big bore exhaust has been fitted.
To inject ’S’ Type genes into the project the re-bore and fitting of the new bearings was undertaken by Ben and Ray Kemp at AF Rayspeed. Ray was also responsible for the painting of the scooter’s ’S' paint scheme.
The electrics also needed looking at and the wiring loom has been replaced, as well as the main switches, stater plate, flywheel and HT coil. A new headlight unit had to be sourced, although the original rear light unit was salvaged.
Back in 1963 when this scooter rolled off the Innocenti production line it came with what was then a new feature of Lambretta, a disc break. The one on Johns scooter needed to be completely restored and renovated and is now as good as new. The wheels have been treated to new alloy tubeless rims.
John quite rightly says that when you look at the scooter and everything that has been done to it, it is almost a new scooter. The finish product is the result of two years of hard work finding all the required parts, ensuring to the parts fitted okay and if not, fettled to fit, and then the putting together of the scooter.
John also found that he didn't realise just how many different nuts, bolts, washers and screws were required to put it back together.
So there you have it, a Lambretta ’S’ Type built by ’S’ Type pioneer, John Ronald.
Written by Pete Davis, Classic Scootrist. Images courtesy of: John Ronald