TV175

THE LAM­BRETTA TV 175 SE­RIES 1

Scootering - - Contents -

Stu Owen gives us a peek at a stun­ning ex­am­ple of the mar­que.

Dur­ing In­no­centi’s 24 years of Lam­bretta man­u­fac­ture it came up with some ex­em­plary and of­ten in­no­va­tive de­signs, none more so than the TV 175 se­ries 1. Though it only had a short pro­duc­tion life it left be­hind an ever last­ing legacy. To some it was con­tro­ver­sial but to oth­ers iconic; a Lam­bretta that still di­vides opin­ion to this day.

Andrew God­frey’s first foray in to the world of Lam­bret­tas came in 2004 when he went to pur­chase a Li150 se­ries 1 frame breather. This wasn’t his orig­i­nal choice, in re­al­ity he wanted a TV 175 se­ries 1 but the hefty price tag of any that came up for sale put him off. The Li had been sold be­fore he got there but as luck would have it the dealer told him of a TV 1 for sale in Leeds that was an ac­cept­able price. With­out hes­i­ta­tion he fol­lowed the lead up and soon enough the tatty but com­plete ex­am­ple of the Lam­bretta he had al­ways de­sired was in his pos­ses­sion.

Where do you start

With any Lam­bretta restora­tion it’s a case of strip­ping it down to see what needs re­pair­ing and what needs re­plac­ing. Usu­ally any parts miss­ing can eas­ily be ob­tained whether re­made or sec­ond hand. How­ever, the TV 175 se­ries 1 is a to­tally dif­fer­ent sce­nario when it comes to restora­tion. When In­no­centi first in­tro­duced the TV 1 in 1957 it was a to­tally new con­cept. Though launched at a sim­i­lar time to that of the Li se­ries 1 range there was no com­pat­i­bil­ity be­tween any of the com­po­nents.

When the TV 175 se­ries 1 was launched this idea changed and all Lam­bretta mod­els would be com­pat­i­ble with each other in the fu­ture. As the TV 1 was only pro­duced for around a 12 month pe­riod it left a very lim­ited amount of spares ei­ther new or sec­ond hand. Con­se­quently few man­u­fac­tur­ers have done very much in the way of re­mak­ing parts as the market is very lim­ited.

Un­daunted by this prospect, Andrew fully stripped the ma­chine down and be­gan the long process of trying to ac­quire what needed re­plac­ing. With quite a long list this was go­ing to be a lengthy and time-con­sum­ing process. Luck­ily most of the body­work and main frame re­mained in­tact and in fair con­di­tion. Though rusty and in need of re­pair this job was within the realms of a com­pe­tent painter.

Now the real de­tec­tive work came in, sourc­ing ex­actly what was re­quired. One of the knock-on ef­fects from the unique­ness of the TV 1 is at the time of pro­duc­tion many deal­ers stocked up on spares that quickly be­came re­dun­dant. Left with a choice be­tween scrap­ping them or hop­ing that one day they may be of use, a con­sid­er­able num­ber were left be­hind.

With its smoothly curved lines and, for the first time in Lam­bretta pro­duc­tion fully en­closed body­work, the TV 175 se­ries 1 was a thing of beauty.

The change to a hor­i­zon­tal en­gine lay­out and swing mount­ing al­lowed for a much lower cen­tre of grav­ity and im­proved han­dling no end.

The 23mm Del­lorto car­bu­ret­tor, the big­gest size In­no­centi would ever fit on a Lam­bretta.

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