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Old 28th June 2010, 21:32   #1
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Default Lambretta-Vijai Racket- Exporters Make Hay While Lambrettas/Vijais Shine!!

Despite a total ban on all exports of automobiles manufactured before 1960, many many cars and scooters/bikes have gone out of the country. Earlier it used to be the Maharajahs Rolls Royces and other rare cars that were disassembled and moved out in containers and now Lambrettas are the latest target of greedy exporters to fill up their coffers illegally.
Lambrettas have lately become a money spinner and Lambrettas /Vijais of all kinds in whatever condition are being bought by exporters at Delhi at never heard before prices. So agents are collecting these scooters from all nook and corners of the country and the destination is Delhi. From there containers are filled and these poor scooters leave the country to start a new life in Europe where the demand has skyrocketed (3000 to 12000 UK pounds each in good restored condition depending on the model).
The company Innocenti closed down in 1972 and all marketing rights and tools, jigs, designs etc were bought by Scooters India Ltd, Lucknow,(SIL) a government owned PSU.They even bought rights to the trade name "Lambretta" though it was used only on Vijais that were sold abroad.
SIL stopped making scooters altogether in the late 1990's. Already many have been scrapped and are gone.The situation is pretty bad and soon very very few Lambrettas may be left back in India.

I am enclosing some website id's for Lambrettas for viewing:

(1) Wikipedia History of Innocenti makers of the Lambretta.
quote from this website:

QUOTE "The Lambretta scooter is constantly growing in value; their rarity and increased demand means that a standard LI 150 series 3 (known as the standard scooter) in good condition will fetch over 3,000 ($5,950) whereas the rarer models of Lambretta e.g. the TV200 in mint condition has been sold for sums of up to 12,000 ($23,750)."

Lambretta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(2) Lambretta models in UK :
(worth noting is the last picture wherein a Vijai Super is listed as an import from India)

Lambretta Classic Scooters

(3)Lambretta Club of UK

Lambretta Club of Great Britain - Prototypes

(4)The Indian Lambretta guide. So many imports into the UK that there has to be a restoration guide.

The Indian Lambretta Guide

(5)Lambrettas(Vijais) for sale in the UK

Lambrettas for sale

(6)Images of Indian Lambrettas

Indian Lambrettas - Google Search

(7)Lambrettas and Indian made spares for sale on this site

India lambretta, India lambretta manufacturers, India lambretta suppliers and companies on Alibaba.com

(8) So many of them stocked in a godown.

Unrestored Scooters Lambretta Series2 & Lambretta Gp products, buy Unrestored Scooters Lambretta Series2 & Lambretta Gp products from alibaba.com

(9)Importers website in the UK

Lambretta scooters gp 200 refurbished indian - TFM Lambretta Home Page

(10)Another importers website

Second Hand Vintage Vespa And Lambretta Scooters - Second Hand Vintage Vespa And Lambretta Scooters offers from P.ride (25022881)

(11) Lambrettas for sale in India (prices Rs 23000 to Rs 60000)

lambretta - India, Everything Else - India, For Sale

(12) Another UK website listing Indian Lambrettas for sale

Indian Lambrettas For Sale - Yakaz Motorcycles

(13) Lastly a tailpeice:

A friend of mine had a 1968 Lambretta that was running fine with him and he never wished to buy any other scooter till the mid 1990's when this incident took place. He had been to a marriage lawn to attend a marriage reception in Civil Lines, Nagpur, with his Mrs in the month of April. As there was no parking space he had to park his scooter farther away in the dark.
The scooter was stolen to his shock. He lost a very loved and cared for scooter. He lodged a FIR and asked the police as to who steals such scooters that are worth some Rs 1000-Rs 1500 (yes that was the resale value of Lambrettas in the mid 1990's).The policeman replied" These days the sugarcane juice makers seek Lambretta engines as these can be very well run on kerosene.We have got quite a few FIR's for Lambretta thefts" My friend was dumbstruck!

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 28th June 2010 at 21:34.
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Old 28th June 2010, 22:07   #2
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I have heard the same stories here. Lucknow was the production land for Lambys (IIRC SIL produced them at their factory situated at Amausi industrial area). Around mid 90's there were some dealers (rather scrappers) who bought these models for peanuts and sold them in bulk to unknown firm. There was one scooter parked at my ancestral home which was eventually sold for 800 Rs. in 2006. Later on i was told that it was a lambretta which was non-functional after some engine failure. I too recollected it as i used to play and mess around it, open its tool box lid situated in the front, and fill it with all sorts of small tin boxes just for fun.
Though i am not a scoot fan but if i had known of its value i would have certainly preserved it.
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Old 28th June 2010, 22:15   #3
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I have just picked up this one from lucknow after following the Mech who had the same for close to 2 years .

Yes prices have skyrocketed , i already have am offer of twice of what i had paid for it .

The Delhi dealers have bought a huge number of Lambys/Vijai Supers , also they have bought the entire lot of parts that were lying with any old retailer , I was quoted 1000 for a light assembly , which i eventually picked up for 100 bucks in Lko , lucky me i got 20 of them
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Lambretta-Vijai Racket- Exporters Make Hay While Lambrettas/Vijais Shine!!-lamby7.jpg  

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Old 28th June 2010, 22:20   #4
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Any details on the seller and the area from where you purchased this scooter in Lko. This looks exactly the same i was mentioning. Can you tell me the name of previous owner.(if you don't mind)
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Old 28th June 2010, 22:31   #5
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Golden Scoots at Namma Bengaluru is openly doing this

And they even have testimonials from buyers abroad, Now thats


GoldenScoots.com\Scootsforsale
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Old 28th June 2010, 22:50   #6
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I'm glad someone has brought this to light....now you'll know why and how I got my LD so expensive (those of you who know how much I paid for it!) and believe it or not, the boat's quite full with so many other people sailing in it!

But now the question- what is there that we can do about it? While technically, Vijais, Allwyn Pushpaks and Lambys (most Indian-made scooters from post 1970) do not command as much value here as say, an LD or series 1 Li does, so it may not be possible to put an anti-export petition in their favour as official vintages, the fact is that letting them go out of the country tends to have a cascading effect that makes every "leftover" Vijai or Lamby in India a potential gold-mine for the seller who demands a high price on it regardless of the condition. Case in point is Bangalore, where Vijais are going for as high as 22k!
Exporting of scooters has been happening in other countries too, even Italy, until the Italians began to realise they were losing a part of their 'heritage' decided to tighten the situation by refusing foreign buyers as far as possible- or so I read in one UK-based scooter website. In these countries, however, the value of the scooters in question remains more or less unaffected by such situations, and so you can still expect more honest deals on local buys if you bought there. Believe me, I once came across an ad on ebay italy offering a '57 LD for FREE, yes, free!! That's probably because it didnt have documents, but for the price it came for, it could've at the worst made a very good parts donor! Only the pick-up costs would have to be taken care of if buying from outside. Tempting though it was, bringing it into our country, if at all allowed, would unfortunately attract too much of red-tape and paperwork headache........geography can be so cruel! But that's another issue.

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Old 29th June 2010, 02:26   #7
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There is someone in Bombay doinf exactly the same. He tried to sell me one too.
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:43   #8
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This is a really sad situation we are in. But have we put ourselves in it? If yes, we must do something to stop it. Foremost, if we come across dealers who are exporting classics, we must report it to the RTOs or concenred authorities or the media.

Check out this article.

Old beauties ditch Indian shores - dnaindia.com

Cheers
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:45   #9
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All this is a great when the export market is good, today Europe and America is in a recession. I know of certain exporters who are shitting bricks because they have picked up massive stocks of scooters at unsustainable prices on Bank interest. Now that Exports are down they are willing to offer all the D's and LD's here for reasonable prices.

This happened many years ago with the vintage watch market, where Rolex's, Omega's etc were being bought for a pittance restored and sold abroad, however today one can buy a vintage Omega or Rolex abroad and carry it into the country on person at less than half the price that it is available in India and in a condition much better than what is available here.

To sum it up, the only solution is to lift the import of vintage and classic cars, and let the market level. I am sure we will be driving stuff 100 times better than what is available here for if not less than at the same price that it is available here. As a group we must pursue this extensively with the media and then the Government, we need a good lobbyist

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Old 29th June 2010, 20:49   #10
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The mole: That is a good thought but something that I dont think will happen in my lifetime. Our markets are too closed and too scared to open up, especially the auto industry. Afterall, the biggest car manufacturer in India has deep connections with the First family. If they do open up, 99% of the cars and bikes manufactured now will have to be discontinued or sold for less than half the price.
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Old 29th June 2010, 22:49   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuffRyder View Post
The mole: That is a good thought but something that I dont think will happen in my lifetime. Our markets are too closed and too scared to open up, especially the auto industry. Afterall, the biggest car manufacturer in India has deep connections with the First family. If they do open up, 99% of the cars and bikes manufactured now will have to be discontinued or sold for less than half the price.
I am only talking about opening the market for certified Vintages and Classics, these can be categorized under lifestyle vehicles much like beach buggies etc. There is only a limited market for this and I am sure very few people will actually import such vehicles. But atleast that will cool the prices in our country. I have read advertisement for LD's in the US restored to spec for as little as 3500 $ which is what they are available here for in junk condition. Even in mint condition how many people would like to use their LD as a daily use vehicle (and at that price)? Hardly any its not convinient. So the Government has nothing to fear about as long as there is a cut of date say 1970 (hypothetical). These vehicles will never have mass appeal. This way all the junked second hand cars from the first world countries will not be sent here and we dont have to worry about second hand 3 series from Britain clogging our roads
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Old 1st July 2010, 02:25   #12
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Good thought again mole. The catch here is what if they allow you to import these vehicles but not allow you to register it as road legal. Then, we will have to transport these to the shows and back or ride or drive them on private lands. Another thing the government will be vary of is the loopholes it might create. Our dealers and agents here will create opportunities out of anything, like the way they were getting in those highend vehicles so long. Note, that Im not against this but just being slightly pessimistic. The situation you gave about the LDs, I can say if they had to stop the exports at the right time, the prices here would have still been good. Today LD and tomorrow it might be our newer standard enfields (which are no more in production).
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Old 1st July 2010, 02:57   #13
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Quote:
Lambrettas have lately become a money spinner and Lambrettas /Vijais of all kinds in whatever condition are being bought by exporters at Delhi at never heard before prices. So agents are collecting these scooters from all nook and corners of the country and the destination is Delhi. From there containers are filled and these poor scooters leave the country to start a new life in Europe where the demand has skyrocketed (3000 to 12000 UK pounds each in good restored condition depending on the model).
Why would anyone in European Union (EU) countries buy this old models for such exhorbidant prices? Isn't the emission norms even stricter than US in EU? I really fail to understand this. Appreciate if someone can help me get this point. Tks.
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Old 1st July 2010, 12:45   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuffRyder View Post
The catch here is what if they allow you to import these vehicles but not allow you to register it as road legal. Then, we will have to transport these to the shows and back or ride or drive them on private lands. Another thing the government will be vary of is the loopholes it might create. Our dealers and agents here will create opportunities out of anything, like the way they were getting in those highend vehicles so long. Note, that Im not against this but just being slightly pessimistic. The situation you gave about the LDs, I can say if they had to stop the exports at the right time, the prices here would have still been good. Today LD and tomorrow it might be our newer standard enfields (which are no more in production).
Pessimism is good it helps to iron out all possible obstacles that go into a law. In this case there is no harm in registering vehicles which are certified by Vintage and Classic car organizations as genuine and collectible cars. Government need not worry about mass registrations as this is a niche hobby and only a few people will import cars and even fewer more than one. They should only allow import of restored cars, ie cars which can pass emission and safety norms outright. This will stop people from importing junk (thats what the govt is worried about).

Today we have some of the most influential lawyers, industrialist etc as collectors however we are unable to unite ourselves and make a proper representation to the Government in this matter.

Most European nations allow the import of classics even in a junked state provided that at the time of registration they pass their stingent tests, and only then are they allocated a registration number. Why should we have a issue following the same model in India?
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Old 1st July 2010, 12:59   #15
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Wow! Lambretta's so much in demand! My dad has 2 of them rusting in his factory godown! 1 lamby 150 and a if I remember the other one is some lamby mac 150 or something!!

Need to speak to my dad soon! ;-)
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