Not the first time we have seen this beautiful beast, but with a few alterations under her belt now, we couldn’t resist a second look.
The old Innocenti factory is located in the Lambrate region of Milan. Most of it is derelict now, but more recently a Lambretta monument has been erected, a nice touch for those that like to visit the site on a pilgrimage. The modern images of the Innse water tower and overgrown factory floors still hint at what the place looked like back in the day. It’s nice to revisit a classic now and then.
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Gary Beckett’s ‘Tribute to Innocenti’ was originally painted and built by Fast Eddie from Oldham, to showcase his skills for his business. After doing the circuit and collecting much silverware, it was sold to Ralph Appleby. At this time Ralph had quite a collection of breath-taking scooters in his ownership. It was only when Gary went round to purchase a Gold ‘Nike Street-racer’ from Ralph that he clocked ‘Tribute’ in his garage. Explaining to Ralph how much he loved the scooter and if he ever considered selling it on, he’d love to own it. But the scooter wasn’t for sale at that time as Ralph had other plans for it… a dramatic colour change from silver-grey to Magenta-Pearl, but retaining all the original artwork and murals, plus a little more engraving and gold plating.
Eighteen months later Gary received a call out of the blue from Ralph saying ‘Tribute’ was for sale if he was still interested, and interested he was. A deal was struck and the scooter was now Gary’s. Sporting its new dramatic colour meticulously applied again by the hand of Fast Eddie, the second incarnation of this scooter was even more impressive if that is at all possible. That was 2006. Ten years have passed and ‘Tribute’ is still Gary’s and he’s no intention of that ever changing. Again, this scooter is no ornament… it is a thing of purpose and ridden and rallied every year. Last year on the way to Kelso, Gary hit a pothole and the old girl spat off one of her panels. Skidding away down the road, it was luckily saved from being flattened by a truck by quick thinking riding partner Mark Jackson.
Upon inspection, the inevitable gravel rash had nibbled and scratched the paint; Gary’s stomach turned. Later on that year at Bridlington scooter rally both panels were handed over, again to Fast Eddie, to repair and enhance. Whatever dark magic Eddie practices in that booth worked wonders and not only was the damage gone but the paintwork improved with subtle touches and additions. So panels back on and enhancements in place, the old girl is ready to hit the street again. Take the time when you see it at a rally, to give all the little details, the artwork and engraving a good long look over. It really is worth the effort for this enduring and historical ‘Tribute to Innocenti’.
MAN & MACHINE
Name: Gary Beckett (Barnsley)
Job: Maintenance supervisor
First got into scooters via: Quadrophenia 1979.
First scooter: Lambretta Jet 200 – TFV 25P.
First rally: Scarborough 1980.
Favourite custom scooter: Mine – Tribute to Innocenti.
Favourite model: GP.
Name of scooter: Tribute to Innocenti.
Paint: Magenta pearlescent marbeliser.
Engraving: Karl Russel.
Engine: TS230. Ceramic barrel, 36mm Dellorto, exhaust custom made, five-plate clutch.
How long to do: Two years.
How long owned: 10 years.
Any modifications: Tool box is extra tank.
Gold plating: Midas Touch.
Thank you to: Ralph Appleby, BLOC Paintwork, Fast Eddie’s Paints and Martin Dean, mukkas since the beginning.
Photography: Jamie Rowland
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