I have loved custom scooters since my early-mid teens, being the perfect age for the mod revival in 79/80, and when I went to my first scooter rally in 1982 I was amazed by all the incredible scooters that were there. I just wish I’d owned a better camera, but it probably wouldn’t have survived all the shenanigans we got up to, even if I had! So although the photo quality in this blog isn’t great, it will hopefully be an interesting trip down memory lane for many middle-aged scooterists out there.
The first 80s custom scooter is Enchanted Dream, a P range Vespa with fantasy murals. I loved it at the time but looking back I do wonder about the upholstered seat!
Next is Clockwork Orange which won a ton of trophies back in the day.
This is Freeze, a lovely Lambretta chopper. I love the random seat in the background with a beer can sitting on it!
Vegas were popular scooters in the 80s and I think they are so cute. This is Little Darlin which I think was owned by one of the A5 SC.
This is Rob Godden’s Undertaker Lambretta with coffin sidecar. It was also called the Stiff Shifter!
This is Exile, a Lambretta chopper which won lots of custom shows and was owned by Russell Mitchell. He is now based in the US and builds custom motorbikes and I actually met him at the Las Vegas rally in 2007. Well, when I say I met him, I had my photo taken with him briefly! His custom bike website is here if you’re interested to see what he’s up to now.
This is a Jackie Wilson scooter which looks like it was taken in Exmouth, probably 1985 or 86.
This is Illusion which is still going strong now! See how lovely it is still in my Isle of Wight 2017 blog.
Sweeter Than Wine custom Lambretta. I think these were taken at DISC 85.
This was a Jam-themed Vespa, the photo taken at Brighton 1982, my first rally.
This is Little Rascal, one of my favourite custom scooters.
I loved Mytho Poeikon, probably as it was a smallframe scooter, but the murals were great.
This is Gary Brice’s Lambretta chopper which had lovely metalflake paintwork. Gary is in the background looking at it, with a classic 80s Alien helmet.
A couple more choppers. I do love how there are so many different styles of scooter on the scene, both then and now.
The Worlds Apart P range had great murals, another fantasy theme.
And this pair look very pretty, parked together!
And a racing scooter with sidecar outfit.
Italian Stallion, one of the most well-known 80s custom scooters.
Scooter racing was big in the 80s, and this example was owned by Kegra’s Graham Best.
This is Nick Jolly’s Hall Of Fame Lambretta. Paintwork by Nick, murals by Keith Barnes from Bognor, built by Nick and Mark Halsall.
Jeremy Howlett’s Dazzle, the green version, which has been restored and updated, and can also be seen in my Isle of Wight 2017 rally blog. I love how the old custom scooters are still going strong!
Ian Cleverley’s Sunset Warrior was painted by Dave White, I think. Dave was an amazing artist who lived near Chichester.
Another Arthur Francis, Burnin’ Rubber. I love how a tuned scooter has L plates on it!
This is a scooter painted by the late Mick O’Donoghue, famous for Micx Paint Shack. He painted many custom scooters for Bedlam and if you’d like to see more then there is a Facebook memorial page here.
And finally, this is me! Around 1986 on my PX200E, Dangermobile. I did every rally on it in 1985 and although it isn’t a full blown custom scooter it got me from A to B and I just wish I had better photos of it.
I would love to hear your stories so do leave a comment at the bottom, and join my mailing list as I have many more scooter blogs planned – with better photos!
If you’re interested in 80s scootering then you might like to read my First Rally series, featuring some great stories from well known scooterists I’ve featured
- Norrie Kerr, Vespa legend
- Sticky, scooter builder, author and adventurer
- Sean Robinson, chief Garagista
- Lee Richards, owner of Meat Is Murder and the unfortunate guy who is married to me!
- Jo Jackson, psychobilly queen and original Alcoholic Rat
With Christmas fast approaching, here are some ideas for the scooter lover in your life!
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