Codename Novelty

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Codename Novelty

Post  Admin on Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:02 am

Here's our Lui 50C (which I christened Novelty after a track by Joy Division) which I have started writing pieces about in the Lambretta Club of Scotland magazine. I'll add the written parts later.
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Novelty - The 1st Written Bit

Post  Admin on Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:53 pm


Free is good....right? Well, let’s just say, free is good in certain circumstances and on this occasion being given a complete Lui 50C was good and bad – not in equal measure though! Unusually for me I’d been offered a scooter that (a) was complete, (b) I actually liked and (c) wasn’t rotten to the core. I had seen the 1968 Lui 50C sat at the back of a dealers for some time. Every time I visited it was still sat there, forlorn beside the Series 1,2 & 3 machines that were essentially it’s older brothers. Because of where it had sat in the dealers I’d never got anywhere near really having a look at it. Now, anyone who knows anything about getting a scooter will tell you, being able to view the scooter is essential – because then you get an idea of what you’re taking on. All of this was irrelevant to me, because as it was a Luna line machine I wanted it and as it was a rare Lui 50C I wanted it even more!!! Despite this, I did nothing about it for some time.

Months past and eventually I returned to the said dealers, half expecting to see the scooter gone – but nope, there it sat, now near to the front of the shop and in a position where I could look at it. If the truth is known, I did no more than check it was complete and check that it had the hard to get air filter box. It was complete except for missing its rear light and the air filter was there (bonus!). I even managed to drag the scooter out so that I could have a good look at it. It had all the parts that are hard to find – tank rubber, 50C headlight, all of its badges, and at first glance looked to be the good basis for a project. It also had an old registration plate with it but no paperwork – nightmare but not an insurmountable problem.

After much discussion with the dealer we came to a mutual agreement and the Lui was mine for nothing – well not exactly for nothing but no cash changed hands and I now had a 1968 Lui. The registration puzzled me somewhat as I had always believed that the Lui 50C had never “officially” been imported into the UK. However, I was aware that at least 3 models had been brought into the UK for evaluation purposes (was this one of them?). One of these scooters ended up in the hands of one Arthur Francis and the scooter was raced by him for a while and was then subsequently sold to John and Norman Ronald who changed the handlebars and engine and raced it some more! Where it went after that isn’t clear. So, one of my first jobs is to do a bit of delving and see what original paperwork exists for the scooter – though I can safely say it isn’t the ex-racing machine!

Having got the scooter back to the garage it was time for a good hard look at my latest acquisition. Hmm, well the rear light would need to be found if the scooter was ever to be put back on the open road. The flywheel cover was missing a piece of trim that covers a couple of wires that are attached to it. The inner legshield beam has no rubbers and was also not held down by anything. The handlebars have some surface rust and these will need re-chroming. Ah well, not too bad I suppose for a freebie!! Mind you, I wasn’t prepared for what happened next. Having the idea that I’d see if the scooter was running I put some fuel in the tank and turned the fuel tap on – bad idea as I now had petrol running down the frame and I couldn’t see where it had come from – not such a good idea then!
The tyres on the scooter weren’t too bad – a Pirelli at the front and a Michelin at the back. Both with good tread BUT bear in mind these looked like the original 1960’s items so the rubber isn’t likely to be trusted!!! Mind you the paintwork was interesting. Finished in a pearl white the scooter had obviously been re-painted at some time in its life. However, the sprayer had simply masked round certain parts of the scooter and the original Innocenti white showed through. A show winning paint hob it is not.

So what next? I had planned to try and use the scooter as it was until I spotted something that hadn’t yet caught my eye. When the scooter was parked on certain surfaces it had a distinct lean to the left. Initially I thought the frame might be twisted but on closer inspection this isn’t the case. I removed the stand rubbers and found the cause – the left hand leg of the stand is worn down (quite considerably – hence the lean to the left.

So for now – the jobs (in no particular order) are:
1. Sort out registration of the scooter
2. Get a new stand
3. Obtain new rubber trim
4. Decide on a new paint scheme
5. Get a new seat cover
6. Buy a Casa Lambretta 80cc kit to give the scooter some balls!!

Catch up with us next time to see how far I’ve got.....or not got!!!

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Re: Codename Novelty

Post  Snails on Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:20 am

Great project you have there. Wish I could get a scooter for "free" or next to Smile

Talking of the 3 c models imported into the uk. I seem to remember that another one of them (or at least it was claimed) was sold on ebay a couple of years back. Seller was near Southport somewhere. Dont think that was the racer one either though.
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Re: Codename Novelty

Post  daz.h on Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:16 am

nice project there pete, and at the right price Very Happy i was lucky enough to be given a cometa several years ago, and on the petrol tank is a wildcat sticker, mmmm i wonder if it has the 5 port cylinder ?
no it never Sad , but not to worry.
it does have the parts of the original dealer water slides which i have got remade, as i intend to restore it one day, just that my eldest son has claimed it as HIS !
i have some documentation from lambretta concessionaires stating that the lui 50 will be started to be imported into the uk in 1968.
i will happily scan it for you it it helps.
i'm away at the moment so dont have acess to my scaner or vega stuff, but can do it all next week no problem.
daz.h
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Codename Novelty

Post  Admin on Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:34 am

Daz - if you could scan the bits you have I'd be very interested. The registration stuff I have with the 50C is all stuff to do with a well known Leicester dealer from the 60's. There's nothing to say that he didn't ask Lambretta Concessionaires to import one or more for his own evaluation/sales.
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Re: Codename Novelty

Post  Admin on Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:56 am


Well, since my last ramblings things have moved on at the pace of.....well, a Lui 50C at full chat, so about 25 miles per hour! Why, oh why the slowness I hear you ask. Simple really, the joys of owning a rare Lambretta which although it shares various body parts and panels with its bigger 75cc brothers, it also has some of its own unique parts like the rear light unit. Now I’ve been looking for another 50C rear light unit for some months now and guess what....no joy! I’ve even tapped some of my contacts worldwide and still no joy. I guess one will turn up, but when and for how much is anybody’s guess. To make do in the meantime I’ve bought a 50CL light unit from (the now defunct) Sandy Scooters. It’s a remade Casa Lambretta item which should do the trick....I hope!

As you will remember from last time, the Lui has a distinct lean to one side caused by one side of the stand being worn down considerably more than the other side. So, my next job was to locate and purchase another stand. Easily said than done, I mean it’s not your common or garden Li or GP stand we’re talking about here. Nope, it’s the far harder to track down Luna line item. I tried E-Bay – no joy at all. Then I tried Scooter Trader – still no joy. The small ads in Scootering also came with a negative result. In fact, I even trawled through my own spares to see if I had one lurking around from my previous Luna line scooters. Trouble is, even while I was doing this I knew I didn’t have one. It wasn’t until I met up with a mate and his wife who had just restored a Lui 50CL that I found out that they had at least 12 stands that they’d obtained while doing their resto. Seems like they’d go to parts fairs and buy Luna line parts because...well, because they could. So, I now had a stand...wait a minute, that means I’m on a roll now what with a rear light unit and a stand – wow, check me!

The registration issue was still something of a puzzler. I spent a few hours in a local records office seeking out the original registration books covering the year that my Lui would have been registered. Well, there it was in black and white, my registration, the date of registration, the dealers name who had originally registered it and the only thing defining it was a scooter was that the make was listed as Lambretta. No model name given, no frame number. So I guess this is as good as it gets, at least I have a copy of that and this should aid my retaining the registration number. But don’t hold your breath, I’ve got the DVLA to do battle with yet!

Making sure that I kept things on a role I made a trip to the HQ of Casa Lambretta in the UK – in the not so sunny seaside town of Weston Super Mare. What I thought would be a cheap deal on a pair of stand feet, a kickstart rubber and the rubber cover for the flywheel electrics proved to be a tad more expensive. That’s the joy of having a model where parts aren’t in huge supply and re-made parts aren’t cheap. They are good quality though so credit to the Casa boys for that.

I still haven’t decided on a new paint scheme yet, but I was well impressed with the finish on my mate’s wifes Lui 50CL which was powder coated and then just the legshields and petrol tank painted. The colour match between the parts was so good you couldn’t tell that they hadn’t all been done together. So I guess it’s a trip to the powder coaters to see what they can do and more importantly.... for how much!!!

Overall I’m pleased so far as the project is moving on at something fast approaching a lethargic snails pace maybe, but its moving on.
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Re: Codename Novelty

Post  daz.h on Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:16 pm

just seen your reply pete, i will scan you the lui 50cc details from lambretta uk and email you them.
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Re: Codename Novelty

Post  daz.h on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:58 am

did you get the scan pete? i sent it to the bla site, daz.
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Codename Novelty

Post  Admin on Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:47 am

Hi Daz, yep, just found it when going through my e-mails today. Interesting stuff. The scooter has an old Leicester plate with it (could it be ex-PJ Oakley stock??) who knows - I'll need to do some more digging Very Happy
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Codename Novelty

Post  Admin on Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:51 am

Well I've spent some time digging in the local archives and the registration plate is definitely for a Lambretta, trouble is the old Leicester City Police counter books don't tell you what model, colour, cc etc. I know that it was sold by Scooter Services in 1968 and there is no further info than that - not even who bought it etc. Actually, thinking about it, the counter books simply show who registered and taxed the scooter so it may have been that the shop didn't actually sell the scooter to anyone at that time and it was bought later on - unlikely but its always an option to consider. So now I have a copy of the register entry it'll be V765 application time.
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Codename Novelty

Post  Admin on Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:53 am

Oh and for anyone who wondered about the Wildcat sticker on the legshields - that was a joke of mine, a nice subtle addition to something that could never be considered a "tarmac eater" in its 50cc form Very Happy
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The tribulations continue!!

Post  Admin on Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:52 am


So where were we? Ah yes, other than sorting out minor issues like the wobbly stand and the missing rear light I still had the issue of the old registration number to look into. Luckily for me the reg number was a local one so it meant a trip down to the local records office to see what I could dig up. Surprisingly the staff were helpful and in no time I was sat in a room with a load of people tracing their family history while I tried to trace the history of a 1960’s Italian shopping bike! Bizarre – you better believe it! A couple of hours later and I sort of have a result, the scooter was registered and taxed in 1968 by Scooter Services (so it wasn’t a PJ Oakley scooter like I’d hoped!). Trouble was, the register entry didn’t give any colour, type or even frame number so I’m only claiming a partial result. Next event will be to get the number back on the scooter so it’ll be V765 time.

Things were looking pretty good at this point and it was at this point that I began to think about paint schemes – don’t ask me why, the scooter isn’t even stripped for blasting!! I knew that whatever happened the scooter wasn’t going to be finished in pearlescent white again! And I suppose that deep down I knew that I wasn’t going to paint her in a factory finish either! But despite both of those trains of thought I still had no real idea how I wanted her to look. Zak and Julie at Lambretta Cottage Restorations gave me a tub of hologram metal flake paint which I really did fancy using but not on the complete scooter. Even though the Lui is a small machine I didn’t think it wise to subject it to a complete covering of flake.

Given my limited budget on this one I have come to the conclusion that powder coat is going to feature highly and then I saw an old copy of Jetset which featured a scooter called Tootaly Sorted. Now I don’t usually set out to copy anyone else’s ideas but the builder of this scooter had covered parts of his GP with Tootal scarves that he’d then lacquered to protect. Now, this got me thinking that I could use the same idea to customise some of the parts of the Lui like the mudguards, petrol tank, inner legshield beam. I just need to suss out which glue to use and whether it will actually look any good – so now it was experiment time!

Blimey, glue fumes – they’re a bit strong aren’t they? With a tub of contact adhesive, a well ventilated garage and some material and a spare headset I began my experiment. Oh dear, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. The glue showed through the material and I ended up with a headset top that will now need to be blasted as it looked a complete mess! So its back to the drawing board. I guess that powder coating will be the way to go so with that in mind I went and saw my friendly, local powder coat man. I told him I wanted 2 colours and that they should be nice and metallic, he showed me some colours and then hit me with the fact that due to the recession he may not be able to get the colours I want as he will only want to order them in small quantities. He’s going to ring and ask his suppliers anyway and has left it with me to contact him back – why do I get the feeling this is going to be more difficult than I thought?

The only other issues to be considered at the moment are new tyres and a new rear shocker – so its a bit of detective work on that front to see what I can find. Hopefully by the time you read the next instalment I’ll have sorted more of the minor issues out.
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Re: Codename Novelty

Post  daz.h on Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:30 pm

try trev harrison, (midas touch) he does both chrome and powder coating.
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Novelty moves on...a bit!!

Post  Admin on Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:14 am

Given that my work schedule has been fairly hectic since late 2010 Novelty has taken a bit of a back seat. Last Sunday I decided that it was time to have a good look at her and decide what I was going to do with her. I came to the conclusion that in the short term I might (and I say might) enter her in the LCGB show at the Brid rally.Not because she is a show winner - oh no, that she ain't in her coat of pearlescent white paint. But she is original and unrestored.

To that end I spent Sunday giving her a good look over and starting a slight strip down so that she could be checked and cleaned. The headlight unit came off easily enough and then I realised that the bolt that holds the headlight unit to the handlebars was the only thing holding the unit on - no wiring so the light wasn't wired up. I put the unit on one side and then looked at the footboards - new mats needed - no worries here as i have a spare set lying around with the plugs so that was sorted.

The original rear light is missing and in its place is one from a 50CL - not ideal but it does the job. The inner legshield beam needs two rubbers and the rubbers for the top and bottom of it. I also need the 4 screws (two bottom and two top) that secure it - any suggestions on where these can be found?

The wheels are fine and the rims and tyres need cleaning and a tidy up. No issues there. The seat came off easily enough as did the petrol tank. The two screws that hold the seat to the frame are nicely seated on original rubber mounts which show some signs of perishing but are still useable. The tank was sat on the correct 4 rubber mounts. I had to cut the fuel pipe as it is beyond use - any suggestions where new pipe can be found?

The rear shocker is more than likely well past its sell by date and at the minute it doesnt want to come off.I will persevere with this one as it shouldn't be too much of a problem. The cylinder head cowling is a dull matt black and will stay on - it is original after all. The flywheel cover is showing signs of wear and splitting and will need to be replaced.

It is the stand that has me baffled. Not only has someone gone to the effort of welding two sections onto the legs (these have worn, more so on the left hand side so the scooter as I have said before has a little lean to it) and a section of wire was holding the stand to the frame strut. Anyone got a photo of the underside of their Vega/Lui/Cometa that they can put up on here so I can compare them. I have a new stand which will need to replace the old one.

I'm going to keep the LC Rotterdam leggie banner on the scooter so now need a Dutch number plate to put on it. Better start searching E-Bay for a 1969 or 70's Dutch moped plate - Neutral

The handlebars have some rust on them but elbow grease and windowlene seem to be bringing them back to some sort of shinyness!! Once i've sorted these I'm going to remove the nuts from the engine casing and clean them and around them - so I've a few nights of cleaning to do.

I reckon given some hard work it will look the business - well it will to me and I'm not looking to impress any judges - but other than our big meeting at the VMSC show a few years back when did you last see a Lui 50C at a show???
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Eureka - sort of!

Post  Admin on Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:18 am

Books are great aren't they? I have the 50C & CL supplement to the 75S & SL parts book, trouble is can I find it - er nope, typical just when you want it. You see the trouble is, the headlight issue is now niggling me. It looks like a bicycle headlight - and I guess thats probably what they based it on. No wires, possibly battery operated? Not sure.

To try and fathom out the issue without my parts book meant digging out various photos of the Lui 50C and on none of them can I see any wiring going from the headlight to the body work or anywhere else - I think I've answered my own questions about it but I'll keep on looking.

A few bits have been located on e-Bay that I need so I'm keen to get them, not least of which is a fuel tap that is complete. I still need to work out what to do about mounting a number plate and sourcing a Dutch one Evil or Very Mad
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Re: Codename Novelty

Post  daz.h on Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:48 pm

here you go pete, i have both types of the 50cl user manuals, one of them contains the 50c supplement.
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Re: Codename Novelty

Post  Snails on Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:15 pm

Pete are you in Holland? If not why are you keeping the LC Rotterdam legshield banner?
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Novelty

Post  Admin on Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:44 am

Ed - the Rotterdam LC banner just makes the scooter look that more unusual than any of the other banners that I have for the scooter. I've sourced a suitable Dutch number plate and will sort out a number plate holder.

Talking of how things move on and how projects progress and change, I've been offered 2 litres of candy blue paint - so when I finally get to paint the 50C it can have a coat of blue - 2 litres after all should be more than enough. And the paint is FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Always a bonus.

Today I'm going to spend time cleaning the engine - which isn't bad but needs a look at and then I'll spend more time on the handle bars to see how much more they can be cleaned up.

Classic Capsule has been the source of a couple of stickers to give the scooter that late 60's/early 70's look.
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Novelty

Post  Admin on Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:47 am

Overspray - black overspray. Something i hadn't really noticed before but which is now quite apparent in the paint. Polishing it and using T-Cut hasn't worked and to be honest it has now halted my plans - typical. I'm really annoyed that I hadn't noticed it before - probably a case of I wasn't looking for it or thought it was surface dirt. The problem came to light when I started to really clean the scooter and then I saw that the forks, front mudguard, legshield, inner legshield beam and some of the body are covered in it. Delightful - NOT!

The plan now is simple - strip and prep the scooter for a complete rebuild over the winter. I guess it'll be more interesting then simply trying to "tart" the scooter up so that it could be shown at the Brid Show.
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Re: Codename Novelty

Post  Staffy (Gareth) on Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:19 am

Have a look at this Pete, i have jsu tordered one to have a look at to fit to a Lui i also have as it might just wok with the original Lui light fitting and not obscure.

http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&rurl=translate.google.co.uk&sl=de&tl=en&u=http://www.jockeys-boxenstop.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p20890_Nummernschildhalter-f--Lui-Luna-Vega-Cometa-50ccm.html/XTCsid/a655171be871163edccd68bfd315e9fa&usg=ALkJrhhBj6zOQLOrS1gGEY02N0J2RJFLnA
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Re: Codename Novelty

Post  Snails on Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:47 am

Talking of handle bars do you still want the cut down ones?
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Re: Codename Novelty

Post  Snails on Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:50 am

Top find Staffy let us know what you think when you get it
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Re: Codename Novelty

Post  Staffy (Gareth) on Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:27 am

It should be here sometime next week so i will see what it looks like and offer it up to the frame to see how it fits. I will take some pictures of it when i can.
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Novelty

Post  Admin on Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:19 am

Stuffy did you get the number plate holder?
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Re: Codename Novelty

Post  Staffy (Gareth) on Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:35 am

Yes it turned up (its a bracket so just need to get my head around the best way to fit it.

I will get a picture of it offered up so as you can see where i think it will best sit if at all, however it involves drilling the two samll holes in the mudguard to fit it so im also going to try a Vespa Smallframe bracket too so as i can see how that looks instead.
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Re: Codename Novelty

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