Vintage vehicles often rekindle old memories. The Lamby at Puthankurishu in Ernakulam is such a bundle of memories. During Vipin George's childhood, his dad used to ride the scooter. He has two decades of memories tied to the vehicle. And that was the reason why he spent more than Rs 1 lakh to restore the favourite Lamby.
A friends' collective is behind the second birth of the Lamby. Twenty-three years ago, it was the family vehicle of P L George. After Vipin's dad's death, the vehicle was left unused in his house. Later, painting workers took the vehicle out of the house, and it started gathering rust. In between, Vipin moved to New Zealand and when he returned in 2018, he started efforts to restore the vehicle to its old glory.
Vipin's friend Sumod G Nair carried out the restoration work from his home. Sumod loves restoring vehicles. A friend, Rinil Xavier, provided all the help. If you look at the old Lamby you would know how painstakingly they have rebuilt the vehicle.
They sourced the required parts from the scrap market in Coimbatore; they managed to get mostly original parts. The old engine was in good condition; could kickstart it in just one try. Tyres and brakes are new. Though they took a year to bring it back to life, Vipin got back time-tested memories.
The 150 cc Lamby was introduced in India in 1977 by Automobile Products of India (API). Both Lamby and Lambretta were brought to India in association with Italian company Innocenti. Founded in Mumbai, the company later shifted base to Chennai and wound up in 1992.