Lambretta Stars in Safety Ride Down Under
Only 3 months after its invasion of the Australian two-wheel market, Lambretta has swept the opposition before it in a unique motor scooter and motor cycle safety ride.
With only nine Lambretta riders in a field of more than 400, they cleaned up three major prizes and were placed third over all in the teams section.
The two day ride held last weekend's sponsored by the Road Safety Council of New South Wales to find the safest riders in the state.
Competitors were required to ride over a 140-mile observed road course, undergo machine examinations, take written road rule tests and negotiate a series of six hard manouverability tests.
The tests were extremely difficult, but the results speak for themselves.
Two girls riding 75cc Lambretta Vega scooters tied for first place in the Women's under 100cc section - with an overall loss of only 170 points.
On a count back of points Mrs Anne Travers of Newcastle, who was riding in a team with her husband (also on a Lambretta) won the prize of a trophy and $50.
The other girl, Sally Wilkinson of Collaroy, came second to Mrs Travers. She took out the best female rider in the Sydney feel category against all-comers on all sizes of cycles.
Sally also completed the cycle manoeuvrability tests without a loss of points to become one of only a half dozen riders to do so.
"It was easy," she said. "All I did was point the little Lambretta through the flags and it did all the work for me. It just wants to stay upright all the time."
The only girl to complete the manoeuvrability tests with a clean sheet, Sally was also awarded the Caltex trophy.
A Lambretta Club team comprising two men and a girl was placed third outright in the team section.
The team of John Coomer, 40 (Vega), Alan Phipps, 20 (GP200) and Nancy Naumann, 25 (Vega) lost very few points on the road and in the manoeuvrability and machine examination sections.
"But two of us are recently arrived from Britain and went down on points of local road rules in the written test," Alan Phipps said.
Alan two years ago won the British Rospa Cycle Safety Award on which the New South Wales event was based.
The team was narrowly defeated by only 70 aggregate points for second place - and were more than 100 ahead of the next placegetter.
While more than 25 riders dropped out of the Safety Ride with mechanical troubles, none of the Lambretta riders experienced difficulties.
"the little machines were like a dream," Nany Naumann said. "My Vega averaged more than 100 miles per gallon over the two days in conditions ranging from flat out riding to cruising on all types of road surfaces."
Road Safery Council officials say response to the Safety Ride, the first held in Australia, has been so great it is almost certain to be run again next year.
"And next year we expect more than 800 entries," Ride Director Bob Moore said.