My name is Paul Davies and I’m a 50-year-old scooterist. I started riding scooters on the back of the early 1980s mod revival. I bought my first one, a Vespa 50 Special, on 15 April 1983.
Since then, I’ve owned around 60 scooters, including mod-style, cut-downs, choppers, street racers and full restorations – and I’ve always had at least one scooter on the road. I carry out all my own rebuilds and servicing, and have only recently begun farming out paint work. Right now, my collection – limited only by storage space – stands at nine scooters.
I collect scooters, mainly Lambrettas, because it sets me apart from the rest of the herd. I don’t want to be like everyone else. But riding scooters does also allow me to connect with a like-minded minority who share my interests and passions.
To me, scooters mean individuality and freedom; a means of escaping the humdrum of everyday life. They also tend to get you noticed, thanks to their classic styling.
Scooterist Paul Davies shares his collection highlights:
Name: 1953 Lambretta 125 Model D Mark II
Power rating: It’s a total factory restoration, so only puts out about 4bhp.
Special features/modifications: The only modification is the leather saddle covers.
How did you come to acquire the scooter? I acquired the scooter in 1993 as a straight swap for a mental tuned Lambretta Vega.
What makes it a highlight for you? It’s special to me as it was bought and restored for my best man and me to ride to the church on my wedding day.
The most important thing to know about this scooter: Even though it’s all totally original I can say that it has never once let me down. Not bad for a 64-year-old scooter!
Name: 1960 Lambretta Li 150 Series II
Power rating: 20bhp. It doesn’t seem like much, but the original engine put out about 8bhp.
Special features/modifications: The only body modification is a Spanish turning front mudguard. Engine-wise, it has an Avanti 225cc kit fitted, along with larger carb, big bore exhaust, electronic ignition and a five-speed gearbox.
How did you come to acquire the scooter? I bought this scooter in 2009 after seeing an advert online. I spotted it on a Wednesday afternoon, and by the Thursday morning, after a 580-mile round trip, it was mine.
The most important thing to know about this scooter: This one is my workhorse/daily ride.
Name: 1964 Lambretta Li 150 Special
Power rating: 18bhp
Special features/modifications: No body work and drop handlebars. Engine-wise, it has an Imola 185cc reed valve motor, 30mm carb, full expansion chamber, electronic ignition and a close-ratio gearbox.
How did you come to acquire the scooter? Again, this was seen online. It involved a 500-mile round trip and was picked up in a van used to transport headstones!
The most important thing to know about this scooter: I’d have to describe this scooter as my hooligan machine! It only tops out at 75mph but it gets there quickly. It reminds me of my first-ever Lambretta, which was also a tuned cut-down.
Name: 1967 Lambretta SX 150
Power rating: 18bhp
Special features/modifications: Modifications include altering the headset cover to take a ‘60s Smiths chronometric speedo. Paintwork is two-tone with gold pin striping and finished with a coat of metal flake, all sprayed by a good friend of mine. The original engine put out 9bhp, but this has been doubled by a Mugello 225 with larger carb and big bore exhaust. I also fitted an electronic ignition for reliability.
How did you come to acquire the scooter? This scooter was bought unrestored from a good friend who unfortunately died before the restoration was completed.
What makes it a highlight for you? I have always preferred the SX 150 over the SX 200 as they keep the original GT 200 styling with the panel shape.
Name: 1970 Lambretta GP 200
Power rating: 24bhp
Special features/modifications: The body work on this scooter is totally standard, apart from the hydraulic front disc brake. Engine-wise, it has a TS1 230cc motor with a 60mm crank, five-speed gearbox, 30mm flat slide carb, full expansion and, again, electronic ignition for reliability. It’s had a genuine 84mph measured on a GPS, which isn’t bad as I’m no lightweight!
How did you come to acquire the scooter? This scooter was bought supposedly fully-restored from a dealer in the north-east, but the original frame was stolen. It had to be totally rebuilt around a replacement frame.
What makes it a highlight for you? As it’s an ochre GP 200, it comes a close second to my old TV/GT 200, the only scooter I have ever regretted selling.
Name: 1980 Indian Lambretta GP 125
Power rating: 19bhp
Special features/modifications: As you can see, most of the panel work has been replaced with carbon fibre items. It has front and rear hydraulic disc brakes and uprated suspension. It has an Imola 185 engine with the same spec as my cut-down engine.
How did you come to acquire the scooter? I originally owned this scooter in 1986, sold it to a mate in 1989, and then bought it back five years later! It sat in my garage until 2016 when I decided to rebuild and use it.
The most important thing to know about this scooter: People tend to look down on Indian Lambrettas. But apart from the weld quality, they’re just as good as the Italian ones.
Name: 2002 Vespa PX 200
Power rating: Approx. 16bhp
Special features/modifications: Body work is totally standard apart from the wrapped side panels. The engine is a Taffspeed tuned Malossi 210, with all tuning work carried out by the late Terry Frankland.
What makes it a highlight for you? When Vespa announced they weren’t making any more PX 200s, my friend and I travelled by train to London and each bought one from the last batch made. We rode them back to west Wales at 40mph to run them in! This was my daily driver/rally-going scoot until I acquired the Series II Lambretta.
Name: 2000 Italjet Dragster 180
Special features/modifications: Malossi 172cc engine, 25mm carb, full expansion chamber, uprated variator and clutch.
How did you come to acquire the scooter? This scooter was bought from a fellow scooterist in Margate, who coincidentally is also called Paul Davies. I got it for my wife to use after passing her test (so that I could keep my Lambrettas for myself!) She chose purple for the main body colour and I added orange to the palette – because, as you can see from my collection, I have a thing about orange! Even though my wife uses it, I do tend to take it for a blast every now and then. Being an automatic, it makes a refreshing change from my geared scooters.
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