50 Years of the AF S-Type Lambretta

Page from 1960s Arthur Francis Ltd catalogue.

Page from 1960s Arthur Francis Ltd catalogue.

2014 is the 50th anniversary of the iconic AF S-Type Lambretta scooter.

Developed by Watford scooter dealer Arthur Francis back in 1964 to sell more scooters, the AF S-Type has become probably the most well-known of all  the dealer special scooters of all time.Arthur Francis had a formidable reputation for tuning Lambrettas (and Vespas, but mostly Lambrettas!) and scooters prepared by his shop often did well in sporting events. The idea of the S-Type was therefore to capitalise on this success on the track by offering replica scooters for customers to ride on the road.

In the same way that much of the technology from today’s Formula 1 cars and MotoGP bikes eventually filters down to road-going vehicles, features developed for the track were used on S-Type Lambrettas available to buy in Arthur’s shop.They also got the shop some much-needed publicity by way column inches in the scooter magazines of the time.

Practical Scooter & Moped magazine, 1967

Practical Scooter & Moped magazine, 1967

In reality, whilst a customer could request an all singing all dancing 250cc Tarmac-teasing pocket rocket, many opted for more minor modifications and accessories, together with a unique paint scheme to show off their S-Type Lambretta to others. And it’s this that had led to the S-Type becoming a legend over the years, both with shop produced originals and DIY produced replicas. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery I suppose.

Super S-Type Lambretta GP at Woolacombe, 2013.

Super S-Type Lambretta GP at Woolacombe, 2013.

The shop continued producing these dealer specials through the 1970s in Indian built Lambretta GPs and still today since moving up to Yorkshire where AF Rayspeed as it’s now known has been located since the late 1970s.

Team S-Equipe racer Norman Ronald's original Lambretta SX200 S-Type, displayed at Bridlington custom scooter show, October 2013.

Team S-Equipe racer Norman Ronald’s original Lambretta SX200 S-Type, displayed at Bridlington custom scooter show, October 2013.

To celebrate the anniversary, AF Rayspeed are planning an event for August 2014 and are inviting Lambretta S-Type owners along. So if you have such a scooter, or any memorabilia and memories to share, drop them a line via their website.

We’ll be riding up to that as it promises to be a cracking day out.

We’ll also bring you more news throughout the year, but until then check out this fantastic website of Team S-Equipe.

S-TYPE50

 

6 thoughts on “50 Years of the AF S-Type Lambretta

  1. TJH25D. I was also once a proud owner of this Arthur Francis Special. I purchased the scooter from Arthur Francis August 1967. It was Ken Peters who sold it to me. It would be great to get in touch with the current owner

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