1966 Vespa SS90 Gori Racer
This exotic 1966 Vespa SS90 Gori Racer is an essential part of scooter performance history is one of the star items at the next H&H Classics Scooter sale on July 20th at the National Motorcycle Museum, for an estimate of £13,000 – £17,000.
Its blistering performance set the 1967 world record: 151,936 km/h on quarter mile; 0-100 km/h in 7.6 seconds; 15.6 hp at 9700 rpm. This is the machine raced in Elvington, England in 1967 that achieved the 151 km/h (94 mph) record. This remarkable machine has had much written about it over the years.
Paul Diamond of H&H Classics says of this machine: “The Piaggio industrial group was devastated by the consequences of World War 2. Amongst the projects muted to rescue the company was an idea to help mobilise the Italian public with a new transport concept ‘The motor scooter’. During trials the buzzing noise of the engine and body shape combined for the scooter to be christened the ‘Vespa’ the Italian translation for wasp. From the launch in 1946, it was such a success that it has become a symbol of taste, fashion and style and is one of the favourite global design icons of all time, the Vespa.
Giancarlo Gori and his father Vasco opened their scooter sales and tuning centre in 1958 in Florence Scuderia Gori. They were an official Lambretta dealer but unlike other dealers they uprated the performance of standard machines and were converting motorcycle owners to tuned Lambretta scooters.
Legend has it that they were involved in illegal night street races to prove the speed of their machines. In 1965 Gori tuned a Lambretta TV175 series 3 which officially reached a speed of 170 km/h at the Autodromo di Monza. The style was cast with a large bullet fairing in white with red livery.
Giancarlo Gori then turned his attention to Vespas. He had already been selling 75cc tuning kits for Vespa 50cc models and was experimenting with the Primavera 125. However, when the Vespa SS90 appeared on the market in 1966 this was a game-changer and the SS90 Gori racer was born which then elevated tuning Vespas to the extreme. Vespa SS90 machines are recognised for their special engineering qualities.
With its Gori bullet fairing and screen and on a lowered Vespa 90 chassis and using a 100cc Saetta karting cylinder. The racer featured a rev counter, adapted steering, drop handlebars and still has the special side stands made for it at the time.
Gori tuning and performance products have sold well over the years, but the business was acquired by Pinasco in 2020 who are now successfully taking Gori products into the modern commercial Lambretta and Vespa mainstream performance scooter market and onto a new level. An unprecedented opportunity to acquire an unrivalled part of vintage scooter racing history.”
1965 Lambretta GT200 Owned by the vendor for 55 years – Estimate £13,000 – £17,000
Another scooter with a story to tell is this 1965 Lambretta so loved by its second owner that he has kept it since he bought it in 1967.
The scooter has undergone full cosmetic and mechanical recommissioning by Bedlam Scooters in 2002 and is fitted with numerous accessories including Fly Screen, Carriers and sparewheel and is supplied with an extensive paperwork file including original buff log book, manuals and MOTs.
Ferdinando Innocenti had an engineering background having established his first workshop at the age of 18. Following the end of WW2, he, like many of his contemporary Italian industrialists required a product that would enable him to rebuild his shattered company based in the Milanese suburb of Lambrate.
Therefore the inspiration for the creation of the first Lambretta scooter can be found, like that of the rival Vespa, in the devastation that afflicted Italy following the Second World War and the country’s desperate need for affordable transport.
The new machine was unveiled at the 1947 Paris Show and featured a large tubular steel frame and was fitted with front and rear suspension. Power was provided by a two stroke, single cylinder engine with the early versions being offered as “open” models with no enclosure of the engine and only minimal leg shields and foot-boards but the introduction of the revised model C in 1950 saw the option of an enclosed variant, the LC which established the appearance of the Lambretta for the rest of the fifties.
By the 1960s the introduction of TV range established the classic long and sleek Lambretta look that went on to become a style icon of the era. Considered by many to be the best scooter of its day, the GT200 was produced at the request of the British Lambretta Concessionaires who urged Innocenti to produce a scooter with more capacity and of course top speed. Initially, Innocenti was not too keen on the idea but finally agreed to produce a 200cc Lambretta, even if the UK importers had to take care of any warranty claims.
Unprecedented top speeds and powerful acceleration counted more than reliability and the sales department soon rebranded the TV as the GT200 with reference to the famous sports cars of the time.
This rare GT200 was first registered on the 2nd of April 1965 and bought by the vendor, as only its second owner in 1967. Used by him as his main go to work transport and for pleasure use over the next 9 years, it was laid up in 1976, only coming out of hibernation in 2002 when it was treated to a cosmetic and mechanical recommissioning by Bedlam Scooters at a cost of £2255, having only covered about 700 miles since. With the help of the Lambretta Club it was then put onto a modern V5 registration document retaining its original number plate.
The scooter is presented with many extras fitted by the vendor during his long ownership including a fly screen, front carrier, rear carrier with spare wheel and extra mirrors. Now wearing a 3 in 1 rear carrrier/backrest/spare wheel holder, the original 1960s high rise backrest is included in the sale together with the original 1960s front carrier, flyscreen and air horns fitted to the scooter in the day. There is an extensive paperwork file including the original 1965 buff log book stating the model as a GT200, 26 old MOTs between 1968-1976 and 2002-2021, an original owner’s manual, the 1967 purchase invoice and the original tool kit.
Also included is a Lambretta Concessionaires welcome pack sent to the vendor in 1967 containing a couple of general Lambretta catalogues and an interesting accessories catalogue. The vendor has even included his original HP Agreement and its original CO-OP insurance policy from when he bought it in 1967 and the original 1960s key ring! Supplied with a current V5C and, although not legally required, a MOTd until 24-11-2022.