Updated: Jan 24, 2022
Words: Joe Barthlow, Andrew Trinh
Photos: Andrew Trinh, Kieran Walsh
Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, Sept. 10-12, 2021
Since 1951, Lambretta riders, tuners and engineers have pushed these Italian motor scooters beyond their limits, in terms of pure speed. Today, it's no different. Seventy-one years ago, the bar was set high by a 125cc, fiberglass enclosed Lambretta in Italy with a stunning record of 125mph. In the past 15 years we've seen some serious attempts by the British recording speeds of 109mph, 127mph and 132mph. All different Lambrettas on different surfaces with different speed measuring devices and different rules. So, the need for speed and the quest to be the fastest marches on.
Then there's the mystique of the Bonneville Salt Flats. Bonneville has long been the mecca for speed racers to pilgrimage to, be it two wheels or four. The Bonneville Salt Flats International Speedway is known around the world as a place where land speed records are set. Whether its custom-built cars, to stretched high-cc motorcycles to little vintage 2-stroke Italian scooters, if you're out to break a speed record, Bonneville is where you want to be, especially around the annual Speed Week in late-August, early September.
For the last several years, our man Jay Keele has put on the Bonneville Vintage Scooter Blowout, in conjunction with World of Speed Weekend organized by the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association (USFRA). One the second weekend in September, vintage Lambretta and Vespa tuners and racers met on the salt at Bonneville and opened some eyes.