SIL LAMBRETTA GRAND PRIX FACT FILE
■ Scooters India Limited (SIL) bought the rights to the Grand Prix Lambretta in 1971. The firm purchased the name and production line from British Leyland after a buyout of Innocenti the same year.
■ Production of the SIL Grand Prix started soon afterwards but wasn’t sold back in to the UK for several years.
■ In 1978 Two Four accessories took over importation of the Grand Prix Lambretta in to the UK. They hired Bob Wilkinson the ex Lambretta Concessionaires public relations officer to promote it.
■ Despite all attempts it struggled to gain a foothold in the two wheeled market as technology had moved on. The Grand Prix was an aging design and though it would appeal to the younger generation was never going to appeal to the masses.
■ AF Rayspeed would take over as the official importer and it stayed that way until SIL stopped production of the GP in the late 1980s.
■ It was rumoured that AF Rayspeed along with several other dealers tried to buy the production line to continue manufacturing GPs but sadly it never happened.
■ In the 1990s SIL leased the Lambretta name out, whereupon several franchises used it most famously for the Lambretta clothing brand. For one season, the Lambretta name was used in Moto 3, a support round of the MotoGP World Series. Soon after it was leased out, a bitter legal battle over use of the Lambretta name between the leaseholder and the LCGB ensued over who could or couldn’t use it.
Footnote Are you the only ever owner of a Lambretta or any other scooter for that matter, one that you have owned for more than 20 years regardless of whether it has been changed over time? If so drop us a line, we would like to hear about it.