80s Custom Scooters

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 best 1980s custom scooters

Crusader t-shirts giveaway

But before we dive into the scooters, I’m really excited to be partnering with our friends at Crusader to offer email subscribers the chance to win one of their t-shirts!  Crusader are rally-going scooterists who print most of the rally patches and crew t-shirts you see on your travels.  Yes, that big guy who protects you in the wrecking pit at Woolacombe is probably wearing a Crusader t-shirt!

All you have to do to enter is join my mailing list below.  I promise not to share your details with any third parties and will only use them to send out a monthly email to let you know about posts you may have missed or exciting future plans.  The giveaway finishes on July 14th and you can read more about it here.  Please note that the prize can only be sent to a UK postal address.  Full terms and conditions are here.

 

 

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!

Custom P range Vespa Enchanted Dream, with a green theme and fantasy murals

Next is Clockwork Orange which won a ton of trophies back in the day.

A Lambretta with chrome horncover and mudguard, orange paintwork with Clockwork Orange murals.

This is Freeze, a lovely Lambretta chopper.   I love the random seat in the background with a beer can sitting on it!

A blue Lambretta chopper with view of the petrol tank which has a skeleton pointing a gun at you.

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.

Front view of a Vega scooter with blue paintwork and the words Little Darlin on the front fairing.

This is Rob Godden’s Undertaker Lambretta with coffin sidecar.  It was also called the Stiff Shifter!

A red and Chrome Lambretta scooter with a sidecar shaped like a coffin, with a scooterboy sitting on it.

Photo from Dizzy

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.

A custom Lambretta with red seat and white paintwork

Click here to see the full range of TOFFS footie tops!

This is a Jackie Wilson scooter which looks like it was taken in Exmouth, probably 1985 or 86.

A Vespa P range with Jackie Wilson murals and black and yellow paintwork

This is Illusion which is still going strong now!  See how lovely it is still in my Isle of Wight 2017 blog.

A lovely pink Lambretta chopper with black seat and lots of chrome

Sweeter Than Wine custom Lambretta.  I think these were taken at DISC 85.

Lambretta surrounded by other custom scooters at a custom show

A Lambretta side panel with murals on

Click to buy from Amazon

 

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.

A blue P Range Vespa scooter with extended forks and cutdown panels

I loved Mytho Poeikon, probably as it was a smallframe scooter, but the murals were great.

A Vespa 50 special smallframe with blue fantasy murals

 

Side panel of Mytho Poeikon with other custom scooters in the background

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.

Lambretta chopper with chrome engine and black metalflake paintwork and yellow flames on the petrol tank

Photo from Dizzy

40th Anniversary CD set – click to view or buy on Amazon

A couple more choppers.  I do love how there are so many different styles of scooter on the scene, both then and now.

Brown upright chopper with other chopper scooters in the background

The Worlds Apart P range had great murals, another fantasy theme.



Some full frame Lambrettas, the first being an AF Rayspeed scooter with metalflake paintjob.

A red and orange painted custom Lambretta scooter with red seat, on a campsite with other scooters in the background

And this pair look very pretty, parked together!

Lambretta custom scooters with bright pink and orange paintwork

A cutdown.

And a racing scooter with sidecar outfit.

A scooterist sitting on a full blown racing scooter with sidecar

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.

A racing scooter with full race fairing and the number 68 on the side

Photo from Dizzy

This is Nick Jolly’s Hall Of Fame Lambretta.  Paintwork by Nick, murals by Keith Barnes from Bognor, built by Nick and Mark Halsall.

Pink Lambretta scooter with Hall Of Fame written on the side panel and a mural of a baseball player

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!

Lambretta scooter side panel with mural of Siouxsie Sioux and lots of chrome.

40th Anniversary CD set – click to view or buy from Amazon

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!

Here is a link to the 2018 Rally calendar. and if you like planning ahead here are the 2019 rally dates and tips.

If you liked this post then you may like some of the other scooter content on this site. Here are a few links!

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12 Comments

  1. mark begley
    March 14, 2018 / 10:31 am

    Great blog…keep it up 👍

    • AliRichards
      Author
      March 14, 2018 / 11:15 am

      Thanks! If you subscribe then I’ll keep you posted on new content. I have lots of scooter stuff in the pipeline…

  2. Stacey
    March 14, 2018 / 1:48 pm

    Keep up the good work Ali

    • AliRichards
      Author
      March 14, 2018 / 4:23 pm

      Thanks for reading Stacey! I may need to raid your photos too, soon!

  3. Wayne duncan
    March 14, 2018 / 2:37 pm

    Grest memories m8 keep them coming ive got a few more different pics back then

    • AliRichards
      Author
      March 14, 2018 / 4:22 pm

      Thanks so much for reading! I’ve got so many others I can write about so watch this space 🙂

  4. March 14, 2018 / 8:38 pm

    Great blog Ali, keep up the good work! Ann x

    • AliRichards
      Author
      March 14, 2018 / 10:25 pm

      Thanks Ann!

  5. Maverick
    March 16, 2018 / 8:35 am

    Just stumbled across this on Pinterest. Great to see some of the old custom scooters. I used to covet “little rascal”. If you have any pictures of the Vespa “revenge”. It would be great to see that again!

    • AliRichards
      Author
      March 16, 2018 / 11:28 am

      Hi, thanks for your comment! I will be posting more 80s scooters and will look out for Revenge! Thanks again, Ali

  6. March 23, 2018 / 7:53 pm

    I’m pretty sure I’ve got one of Revenge from DISC 85. I will dig it out and send to Ali

    • AliRichards
      Author
      March 23, 2018 / 8:15 pm

      Thanks Hazel, that would be great! I have a new 80s scooter blog about to be posted this weekend so can add it to that one.

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