Lambretta 150 Special
The LI 150 Special Ser III was a very respectable scooter. It was a nice compromise between the power (and cost) of the TV 175, and the economy of the LI 150. In a sense, it was a melding of the two scooters. Outwardly, it was almost identical to the TV175, yet the motor was a modified version of the Li powerplant. Note that this model was also produced for many years by Serveta in Spain. The Spanish 150 Special is covered in the Serveta section of this guide.
The body on the Special was basically the same as that of the TV 175/200. The front mudguard and horncasting are more angular than that of the LI. In addition, the headset housed a keyed ignition/light switch in the space that the standard LI had a simple kill switch. The headlight on the LI Special had an octagonal rim as opposed to the LI's round edge. The cowls on the Special are coved and flatter than the LI's, and they are embellished with two inset alloy flashes on each side. These cowls were the same ones used on the TV 175/200. There was also a badge on the frame behind the seat which said "Special." The 150 Special came with a dual saddle seat as standard like the TV's. Since the 150 Special looked virtually identical to the TV series, it lent a visual clue that this was a fast scooter, more like a TV than an LI. Although the bodywork on the 150 Special was identical to the TV 175, it came with the same non-dampened drum brake fork as the normal LI models. The drum brake was the main visual cue to tell you that the scooter was an LI and not a TV. Finally, over the course of the production run, the headset was altered to be slightly longer at the bottom, and the frame was altered at the same point to remove a chrome ring which was present on early models.
All of the 150 Specials that I have seen which were originally imported to the US were silver, with one exception. At the end of the production run, Innocenti decided to make two "special edition" models, which were dubbed "silver" and "golden." There was no real difference on the silver model except for a small "silver" badge on the legshield, since all of the 150 Specials in the U.S. were silver anyway. However, on the "golden" model, the entire scooter was painted a metallic gold color, and a "golden" badge was affixed to the legshield.
The motor on the 150 Speical was similar to the standard LI model, but it boasted several improvments which increased its performance. The barrel and head of the LI were modified for the Special so that power was much improved. The carburetor was shared with the LI, but it was jetted differently to allow more fuel into the combustion chamber. The biggest change from the standard LI, was the inclusion of an altered gearbox on the 150 Special. This gearbox had close gear ratios, which helped increase the acceleration of the scooter, and made good use of the power available. This gearbox is highly sought after by racers today and was so good, Innocenti used it on later Gran Prix models.
There was a 125 version of this scooter, but it was not originally sold in the US market. Some have trickled in through grey market importers however. They are essentially the same as the 150 models, but naturally with slightly less power.
In terms of parts availability, the fact that the motors share many components with the LI Series III makes sure that most spares are just a mouse-click away. The body shares components with the TV/SX Series III models and so most body parts are not too hard to get. Side panels, can be quite expensive, but searching hard will usually turn up a pair. Most of the other body parts are being reproduced and are available for purchase.
On the road, the 150 Special is fast enough to be fine to use in normal modern traffic. It has good acceleration and reasonable top speed. The gearing is excellent, and the scooter accelerates well in second and third gear. Quite a few were sold in the US, and turn up fairly often for sale.
Number Produced: 68,829
Years Produced: 1963-66
Power Output: 7.6 hp @ 5,590 rpm
- Rough but restorable = $800-1500
- Drivable, but not show = $1500-3000
- Restored or Excellent Original Conition = $3000-4000