STUART CATLING'S STUNNING 'JEZABELLA' - LI SERIES 1 LAMBRETTA
Jezabella and Me
Sometimes you instantly see something and fall in love with it …Well that was me and Jezabel … Her looks, her curves her Paint work was everything I wanted in a scooter … Yes Jezabel ( my second love ) is my 1959 Li series1 Lambretta..
I do confess that I didn’t build her or Paint her but I certainly have added my stamp on her and made mine … The Story Starts .. imported from Italy..she was bought owned and restored by a guy living in Otley Suffolk.. the Guy was into restorations, bikes Cars etc and fancied doing a scooter so Jezabel started her life there. …finally finished the Guy wanted another project so he advertised her and decided to move her on …A great friend of mine Phil Driver ( sadly no longer with us ) found the advert and with another good Friend Phil Barrett went to have a look at her … it was a Sunny Sunday morning and as I was told the guy bought her out of a barn started her up and rode across a very green lawn…. They chatted about things and the scooter and Phil Driver decided he wasn’t looking for a S1 he really wanted an S2 to go with his GP and SX … So Phil Barrett stepped in and bought her for a absolute bargain ..according to Phil Driver Phil Barrett snapped the Guys hand off and was shaking uncontrollably with delight when he handed over the money … Phil had her and that was when I first saw her and was extremely jealous… luckily Phil didn’t have her to long about 2 years.
The Opportunity came and I wasn’t going to miss out I paid a lot more money for her than Phill did but I would have paid more .. as to me She was a thing of beauty and she was still relatively a blank canvas … So began the Love Affair, she was mine she became part of my Harem as I called it …along with my 1963 Li S3 (the Contessa) 1965 Lis 150 pacemaker (Lolita) 1966 Vespa GL ( Gina ) later I Sold ( Lolita ) and bought a 1961 LI S2 … but she never had the looks like Jezabel …eventually I sold them off one by one but not Jezabel .. she was two stunning and extremely Reliable for a Lambretta… I hadn’t spent a penny on her as I had on all the other in the Harem …they all kept me poor due to repairs tax and MoTs .. but not Jezabel she was Mot and Tax exempt .. being pre 1960 The only time I’ve every had a problem was when I moved to the Midlands and my first trip out on her with Gill I got a puncture.. Gill said to me are you going to change the Tyre at the side of the road ?? What in White Levi jeans ?? Your having a laugh.. so I pushed into someones garden and we walked home .. later I went back to pick her up and found out I had sheered a bolt off the Back hub as well ..
Soon Repaired with a used but new innocenti rear hub and extra long studs she was back on the Road .. I had also spent money on her engine for the first time a new 185cc kit and a Biemme flyscreen.. she was looking ever Bit the Scooter I had always wanted .. other additions has been a 42mm AF twin pipe clubman ( very Loud ) and I had upgrade from a 18mm deep chamber delorto to a 22mm delorto.. thanks to ( Lee Abraham ) he had to reset up the carb with a 200cc Slide and Jets and not for the 150cc it was set up for.
Jezabel is part of our Life..we don’t go far on her or even out if it’s cloudy .. we love going to the pub on a nice hot sunny summers Day for a drink sometimes on our own or to meet up with friends… Jezabel always gets the looks and takes centre stage as to the annoyance of a Lamborghini driver who was posing in his car at the petrol station with everyone admiring his car until I rode up on Jezabel .. everyone turned and came over to me while I was struggling to undo her Pegasus seat … he was far from impressed and revved his engine very loudly and drove off …As I’ve said Jezabel looks fantastic and with Gill as pillion she gets Double the looks..
Words - Stuart Catling. photos - Cris Davies
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