McLaren Racing Limited is a British motor racing team based at the McLaren Technology Centre, Surrey, England. McLaren is best known as a Formula One constructor but competes in the Indianapolis 500 and has won the Canadian-American Challenge Cup; the team is the second oldest active Formula One team after Ferrari, where they compete as McLaren F1 Team. They are the second most successful team in Formula One history after Ferrari, having won 182 races, 12 Drivers' Championships and eight Constructors' Championships; the team is a wholly owned subsidiary of the McLaren Group. Founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren, the team won its first Grand Prix at the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix, but their greatest initial success was in Can-Am, which they dominated from 1967 to 1971. Further American triumph followed, with Indianapolis 500 wins in McLaren cars for Mark Donohue in 1972 and Johnny Rutherford in 1974 and 1976. After Bruce McLaren died in a testing accident in 1970, Teddy Mayer took over and led the team to their first Formula One Constructors' Championship in 1974, with Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt winning the Drivers' Championship in 1974 and 1976 respectively.
The year 1974 marked the start of a long-standing sponsorship by Phillip Morris' Marlboro cigarette brand. In 1981, McLaren merged with Ron Dennis' Project Four Racing; this began the team's most successful era: with Porsche and Honda engines, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna took between them seven Drivers' Championships and the team took six Constructors' Championships. The combination of Prost and Senna was dominant—together they won all but one race in 1988—but their rivalry soured and Prost left for Ferrari. Fellow English team Williams offered the most consistent challenge during this period, the two winning every constructors' title between 1984 and 1994. However, by the mid-1990s, Honda had withdrawn from Formula One, Senna had moved to Williams, the team went three seasons without a win. With Mercedes-Benz engines, West sponsorship, former Williams designer Adrian Newey, further championships came in 1998 and 1999 with driver Mika Häkkinen, during the 2000s the team were consistent front-runners, driver Lewis Hamilton taking their latest title in 2008.
Ron Dennis retired as McLaren team principal in 2009, handing over to long time McLaren employee Martin Whitmarsh. However, at the end of 2013, after the team's worst season since 2004, Whitmarsh was ousted. McLaren announced in 2013 that they would be using Honda engines from 2015 onwards, replacing Mercedes-Benz; the team raced as McLaren-Honda for the first time since 1992 at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix. In September 2017, McLaren announced they had agreed on an engine supply with Renault from 2018 to 2020. Bruce McLaren Motor Racing was founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren. Bruce was a works driver for the British Formula One team Cooper with whom he had won three Grands Prix and come second in the 1960 World Championship. Wanting to compete in the Australasian Tasman Series, Bruce approached his employers, but when team owner Charles Cooper insisted on using 1.5-litre Formula One-specification engines instead of the 2.5-litre motors permitted by the Tasman rules, Bruce decided to set up his own team to run him and his prospective Formula One teammate Timmy Mayer with custom-built Cooper cars.
Bruce won the 1964 series, but Mayer was killed in practice for the final race at the Longford Circuit in Tasmania. When Bruce McLaren approached Teddy Mayer to help him with the purchase of the Zerex sports car from Roger Penske, Teddy Mayer and Bruce McLaren began discussing a business partnership resulting in Teddy Mayer buying in to Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Limited becoming its largest shareholder; the team was based in Feltham in 1963–1964, from 1965 until 1981 in Colnbrook, England. The team held the British licence. Despite this, Bruce never used the traditional British racing green on his cars. Instead, he used colour schemes. During this period, Bruce drove for his team in sports car races in the United Kingdom and North America and entered the 1965 Tasman Series with Phil Hill, but did not win it, he continued to drive in Grands Prix for Cooper, but judging that team's form to be waning, decided to race his own cars in 1966. Bruce made the team's Grand Prix debut at the 1966 Monaco race.
His race ended after nine laps due to a terminal oil leak. The 1966 car was the M2B designed by Robin Herd, but the programme was hampered by a poor choice of engines: a 3.0-litre version of Ford's Indianapolis 500 engine and a Serenissima V8 were used, the latter scoring the team's first point in Britain, but both were underpowered and unreliable. For 1967 Bruce decided to use a British Racing Motors V12 engine, but due to delays with the engine, was forced to use a modified Formula Two car called the M4B powered by a 2.1-litre BRM V8 building a similar but larger car called the M5A for the V12. Neither car brought the best result being a fourth at Monaco. For 1968, after driving McLaren's sole entry for the previous two years, Bruce was joined by 1967 champion and fellow New Zealander Denny Hulme, racing for McLaren in Can-Am; that year's new M7A car, Herd's final design for the team, was powered by Cosworth's new and soon to be ubiquitous DFV engine and with
Jody David Scheckter is a South African former motor racing driver. He competed in Formula One from 1972 to 1980, winning the Drivers' Championship in 1979 with Ferrari. Scheckter was born in East London, Eastern Cape, educated at Selborne College, he ascended to the ranks of Formula One after moving to Britain in 1970. His Formula 1 debut occurred at the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen in 1972 with McLaren, where he ran as high as third place before spinning and finishing ninth. Becoming a name to watch, he continued his development the following year, winning the 1973 SCCA L&M Championship and racing five times in F1. In France, he won in only his third start in F1 before crashing into Emerson Fittipaldi, the reigning World Champion, who said after the crash about Scheckter: "This madman is a menace to himself and everybody else and does not belong in Formula 1." In his next start, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Scheckter's spin triggered a major accident which took nearly a dozen cars out of the race.
The Grand Prix Drivers Association demanded his immediate banishment, only put off when McLaren agreed to rest their driver for four races. Scheckter's McLaren M23 bore the number zero during the Canadian and American Grands Prix of 1973. Scheckter is one of only two F1 drivers to compete under the other being Damon Hill. During the practice for the American event at the Watkins Glen circuit, Frenchman François Cevert, due to be Scheckter's Tyrrell teammate for 1974, was killed in an appalling accident at the fast uphill Esses corners. Scheckter was behind Cevert when he crashed, he stopped his McLaren, got out of his car and attempted to help Cevert out of his destroyed Tyrrell, but the 29-year-old Frenchman had been cut in half by the circuit's poorly installed Armco barriers and was dead. Witnessing Cevert's dreadful accident left an indelible mark on the South African and caused him to abandon his reckless ways, becoming a more mature and calculating driver as a result. Tyrrell in 1974 gave him his first full-time drive in F1.
Jody rewarded them with a third-place finish in the Drivers' Championship and a pair of wins in Sweden and Britain. During the year, he scored points in eight consecutive races, one of the longer scoring streaks of the time. A slight off-year followed, although he did become the only South African to win the South African Grand Prix, but his third year with the team in 1976 gave him another third-place finish in the Drivers' Championship. In that season, Tyrrell introduced the most radical car in F1 history, the innovative six-wheeled Tyrrell P34. Although he went on record as saying the car was "a piece of junk", Scheckter gave the six-wheeler its only win on Sweden's Anderstorp circuit and in his twelve races with the car, he scored points ten times; this included a thrilling race-long battle for the lead in the American Grand Prix between himself and his great friend James Hunt. Scheckter left for Walter Wolf's new team in 1977 and Scheckter gave the team a win in its maiden race, he won twice more with the team and was on the podium, but finished second on points behind a more dominant Niki Lauda.
A seventh-place finish with the team in 1978 followed and he left the team after the season to join Ferrari to partner Gilles Villeneuve in the team's ground effect 312T4 car. Critics felt he would not get along well with the domineering management at Ferrari, but he far surpassed expectations and helped give F1's most recognisable team another Constructors' Championship, while Scheckter's consistent finishes, with three wins among them, gave him the Drivers' Championship in 1979. However, he struggled badly in his 1980 title defence failing to qualify for one race. After managing only two points, Scheckter announced his retirement from the sport. Scheckter was the last driver to win a Drivers' Championship for Ferrari until Michael Schumacher twenty-one years in 2000. In 1981 CBS Sports hired Scheckter as a Pit reporter for its F1 coverage. Scheckter was brought in by ABC's Wide World Of Sports as a Pit reporter for the 1983 Monaco Grand Prix. Scheckter was a guest commentator for ITV during the 1999 San Marino Grand Prix, replacing Martin Brundle.
In 1981, Scheckter won the World Superstars competition in Florida. He defeated athletes such as Russ Francis, Renaldo Nehemiah, Peter Mueller, Rick Barry, Gaétan Boucher and Andy Ripley. In 1983 he was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. After Scheckter's retirement, he founded FATS Inc, a company which built firearms training simulators for military, law enforcement and security organisations; the sale of the company provided funds to allow Scheckter to help the racing careers of his sons Tomas and Toby. Tomas raced in the Indy Racing League. Scheckter's brother, Ian raced in F1 for a few years. In 2004 Scheckter was reunited with his championship-winning Ferrari at the South African two-seater F1x2 Charity Grand Prix at Kyalami in South Africa. Scheckter now spends his time as a biodynamic farmer, having bought Laverstoke Park Farm, near Overton, Hampshire, 40 miles west of London; as an organic farming expert, Scheckter was featured in 2005 on the Visionhealth DVD and TV documentaries "Asthma: An Integrated Approach", "Arthritis: An Integrated Approach" and "Diabetes: An Integrated Approach".
On 20 November 2011, he appeared on the Countryfile television show to make a case for organic food. Laverstoke Park Farm was featured on BBC's "Escape To the Country" where Jody showed viewers how Buffalo Mozzarella was made. In December 2009, Scheckter announced his intention to produce a biodynamic sparkling wine by 2012. In 2015 the farm was the setting for ITV's Sugar Free Farm where a group
Clapham is a district of south-west London lying within the London Borough of Lambeth, but with some areas extending into the neighbouring London Borough of Wandsworth. The present day Clapham High Street is an ancient "diversion" of the Roman military road Stane Street, which ran from London to Chichester; this followed the line of Clapham Road and onward along the line of Abbeville Road. The ancient status of that military road is recorded on a Roman stone now placed by the entrance of the former Clapham Library in the Old Town, discovered during building operations at Clapham Common South Side in 1912. Erected by Vitus Ticinius Ascanius according to its inscription, it is estimated to date from the 1st century. According to the history of the Clapham family, maintained by the College of Heralds, in 965 King Edgar of England gave a grant of land at Clapham to Jonas, son of the Duke of Lorraine, Jonas was thenceforth known as Jonas "de Clapham"; the family remained in possession of the land until Jonas's great-great grandson Arthur sided against William the Conqueror during the Norman invasion of 1066 and, losing the land, fled to the north.
Clapham appears in Domesday Book as Clopeham. It was held by Goisfrid de Mandeville, its domesday assets were 3 hides, it rendered £7 10s 0d, was located in Brixton hundred. The parish comprised 4.99 square kilometres. The benefice remains to this day a rectory, in the 19th century was in the patronage of the Atkins family: the tithes were commuted for £488 14s. In the early 19th century, so the remaining glebe comprised only 11 acres in 1848; the church, which belonged to Merton Priory was, with the exception of the north aisle, left standing for the performance of the burial service, taken down under an act of parliament in 1774, a new church erected in the following year at an expense of £11,000, on the north side of the common. In the late 17th century, large country houses began to be built there, throughout the 18th and early 19th century it was favoured by the wealthier merchant classes of the City of London, who built many large and gracious houses and villas around Clapham Common and in the Old Town.
Samuel Pepys spent the last two years of his life in Clapham, living with his friend, protégé at the Admiralty and former servant William Hewer, until his death in 1703. Clapham Common was home to Elizabeth Cook, the widow of Captain James Cook the explorer, she lived in a house on the common for many years following the death of her husband. Other notable residents of Clapham Common include Palace of Westminster architect Sir Charles Barry, Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and 20th century novelist Graham Greene. John Francis Bentley, architect of Westminster Cathedral, lived in the adjacent Old Town. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the Clapham Sect were a group of wealthy City merchants social reformers who lived around the Common, they included William Wilberforce, Henry Thornton and Zachary Macaulay, father of the historian Thomas Macaulay, as well as William Smith MP, the Dissenter and Unitarian. They were prominent in campaigns for the abolition of slavery and child labour, for prison reform.
They promoted missionary activities in Britain's colonies. The Society for Missions to Africa and the East was founded on 12 April 1799 at a meeting of the Eclectic Society, supported by members of the Clapham Sect, who met under the guidance of John Venn, the Rector of Clapham. By contrast, an opponent of Wilberforce and slave-trader George Hibbert lived at Clapham Common, worshipping in the same church, Holy Trinity. After the coming of the railways, Clapham developed as a suburb for commuters into central London, by 1900 it had fallen from favour with the upper classes. Many of their grand houses had been demolished by the middle of the 20th century, though a number remain around the Common and in the Old Town, as do a substantial number of fine late 18th- and early 19th-century houses. Today's Clapham is an area of varied housing, from the large Queen Anne-, Regency- and Georgian-era homes of the Old Town and Clapham Common, to the grids of Victorian housing in the Abbeville area; as in much of London, the area has its fair share of council-owned social housing on estates dating from the 1930s and 1960s.
In the early 20th century, Clapham was seen as an ordinary commuter suburb cited as representing ordinary people: hence the familiar "man on the Clapham omnibus". By the 1980s, the area had undergone a further transformation, becoming the centre for the gentrification of most of the surrounding area. Clapham's relative proximity to traditionally expensive areas of central London led to an increase in the number of middle-class people living in Clapham. Today the area is an affluent place, although many of its professional residents live close to significant pockets of social housing. Clapham was an ancient parish in the county of Surrey. For poor law purposes the parish became part of the Wandsworth and Clapham Union in 1836; the parish was added to the Registrar General London Metropolis area in 1844 and it came within the area of responsibility of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855. The population of 16,290 in 1851 was considered too small for the Clapham vestry to be a viable sanitary authority and the parish was grouped into the Wandsworth District, electing 18 members to the Wandsworth District Board of Works.
In 1889 the parish was transferred to the County of London and in 1900 it became p
1974 Italian Grand Prix
The 1974 Italian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Monza on 8 September 1974. It was race 13 of 15 in both the 1974 World Championship of Drivers and the 1974 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers; the 52-lap race was won by Lotus driver Ronnie Peterson. Emerson Fittipaldi finished second for the McLaren team and Tyrrell driver Jody Scheckter came in third. Monza had been modified from the year before, with the Ascari chicane being reprofiled and made slower, it was Ronnie Peterson's second Italian Grand Prix win in a row. It was the second straight year at Monza that Fittipaldi finished first and second, it was the final points of Arturo Merzario's Formula One career. Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. Only the best 7 results from the first 8 races and the best 6 results from the last 7 races counted towards the Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points.
A V8 engine is an eight-cylinder V configuration engine with the cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two sets of four, with all eight pistons driving a common crankshaft. Most banks are set at a right angle to each other, some at a narrower angle, with 45°, 60°, 72° most common. In its simplest form, the V8 is two parallel inline-four engines sharing a common crankshaft. However, this simple configuration, with a flat- or single-plane crankshaft, has the same secondary dynamic imbalance problems as two straight-4s, resulting in vibrations in large engine displacements. Since the 1920s, most V8s have used the somewhat more complex crossplane crankshaft with heavy counterweights to eliminate the vibrations; this results in an engine, smoother than a V6, while being less expensive than a V12. Many racing V8s continue to use the single plane crankshaft because it allows faster acceleration and more efficient exhaust system designs. In 1902, Léon Levavasseur took out a patent on a light but quite powerful gasoline injected V8 engine.
He called it the'Antoinette' after the young daughter of his financial backer. From 1904 he installed this engine in a number of early aircraft; the aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont saw one of these boats in Côte d'Azur and decided to try it on his pusher configuration, canard-design 14-bis aircraft. Its early 24 hp at 1400 rpm version with only 55 kg of weight was interesting, but proved to be underpowered. Santos-Dumont ordered a more powerful version from Levavasseur, he changed its dimensions from the original 80 mm stroke and 80 mm bore to 105 mm stroke and 110 mm bore, obtaining 50 hp with 86 kg of weight, including cooling water. Its power-to-weight ratio was not surpassed for 25 years. Levavasseur produced its own line of V8 equipped aircraft, named Antoinette I to VIII. Hubert Latham piloted the V8 powered Antoinette IV and Antoinette VII in July 1909 on two failed attempts to cross the English Channel. However, in 1910, Latham used the VII with the same engine to become the first in the world to reach an altitude of 3600 feet.
Voisin constructed pusher biplanes with Antoinette engines notably the one first flown by Henry Farman in 1908. The V8 engine configuration was used in France by 1904, in race car and aircraft engines introduced by Renault, Buchet among others; some of these engines found their way into automobiles in small quantities. In 1905, Darracq built a special car to beat the world speed record, they came up with two racing car engines built on camshaft. The result was an engine with a displacement of 1,551 cu in, 200 bhp. Victor Hemery achieved the record on 30 December 1905 with a speed of 109.65 mph. This car still exists. Rolls-Royce built a 3,535 cc V8 car from 1905 to 1906, but only three copies were made and Rolls-Royce reverted to a I6 design. In 1907, the Hewitt Motor Company built a large five-passenger Touring Car, it was equipped with a V8 engine that developed 50/60 horsepower and had a bore of 4 in and a stroke of 4.5 in. The Hewitt was the first American automobile to be equipped with a V8 engine.
De Dion-Bouton introduced a 7,773 cc automobile V8 in 1910 and displayed it in New York in 1912. It inspired a number of manufacturers to follow suit; the limiting factor in mass production and sales of V8s was the difficulty in starting large engines using a hand crank. Not only does increasing the size of the engine make this harder, the number of pistons is a factor, because with a 4 cylinder engine, a piston comes into compression every half turn of the crank, overcoming this with the crank is not difficult. With eight cylinders, there is only 1/4 of a turn of the crank before another cylinder comes into compression. To overcome this problem, electric starters were developed; the first marque to equip its cars with electric starter motors was Cadillac, in 1912, Cadillac was the first production automobile with V8s, introduced 2 years later. It sold 13,000 of the 5.4 L L-head engines in its first year of production, 1914. Cadillac has been a V8 company since. Oldsmobile, another division of General Motors, introduced its own 4 L V8 engine in 1916.
Chevrolet introduced a 4.7 L V8 engine in 1917 and installed in the Chevrolet Series D. In February 1915, Swiss automotive engineer Marc Birkigt designed the first example of the famous Hispano-Suiza V8 single overhead cam aviation engines, in differing displacements, using dual ignition systems and in power levels from 150 horsepower to around 300 horsepower, in both direct-drive and geared output shaft versions. 50,000 of these engines were built in Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy. Wright Aeronautical built them in the United States during World War I, with the French-produced versions getting almost-exclusive use to power the SPAD S. VII and SPAD S. XIII fighter aircraft. E.5 fighters and Sopwith Dolphin fighters. The H. S. 8-series overhead cam valvetrain V8 aviation engines are said to have powered half of all Allied aircraft of the WW I era. By 1932, Henry Ford introduced one of his last great personal engineering triumphs: his "en block", or one piece, V8 engine, its simple design made possible the greatest production V8 to the masses.
Offered as an option to an improved 4-cylinder Mo
Dundalk is the county town of County Louth, Ireland. It is on the Castletown River, which flows into Dundalk Bay, is near the border with Northern Ireland, halfway between Dublin and Belfast, it has associations with the mythical warrior hero Cú Chulainn. The Dundalk area has been inhabited since at least 3500 BC during the Neolithic period. A tangible reminder of this early presence can still be seen in the form of the Proleek Dolmen, the eroded remains of a megalithic tomb located in the Ballymascanlon area to the north of Dundalk. Celtic culture arrived in Ireland around 500 BC. According to the legendary historical accounts, the group settled in North Louth were known as the Conaille Muirtheimne and took their name from Conaill Carnagh, legendary chief of the Red Branch Knights of Ulster, their land now forms lower Dundalk. Dundalk had been developed as an unwalled Sráid Bhaile; the streets passed along a gravel ridge which runs from the present day Bridge Street in the North, through Church Street to Clanbrassil Street to Earl Street, to Dublin Street.
In 1169 the Normans set about conquering large areas. By 1185 a Norman nobleman named Bertram de Verdun erected a manor house at Castletown Mount and subsequently obtained the town's charter in 1189. Another Norman family, the De Courcys, led by John de Courcy, settled in the Seatown area of Dundalk, the "Nova Villa de Dundalke". Both families assisted in the fortification of the town, building walls and other fortification in the style of a Norman fortress; the town of Dundalk was developed as it lay close to an easy bridging point over the Castletown River and as a frontier town, the northern limit of The Pale. In 1236 Bertram's granddaughter, Rohesia commissioned Castle Roche to fortify the region, to offer protection from the Irish territory of Ulster; the town was sacked during the Bruce campaign. After taking possession of the town Edward Bruce proclaimed himself King of Ireland and remained here for nearly a whole year before his army was defeated and himself slain after being attacked by John de Birmingham.
Dundalk had been under Royalist control for centuries, until 1647 when it became occupied by The Northern Parliamentary Army of Colonel George Monck. The modern town of Dundalk owes its form to Lord Limerick in the 17th century, he commissioned the construction of streets leading to the town centre. In addition to the demolition of the old walls and castles, he had new roads laid out eastwards of the principal streets; the most important of these new roads connected a newly laid down Market Square, which still survives, with a linen and cambric factory at its eastern end, adjacent to what was once an army cavalry and artillery barracks. In the 19th century, the town grew in importance and many industries were set up in the local area, including a large distillery; this development was helped by the opening of railways, the expansion of the docks area or'Quay' and the setting up of a board of commissioners to run the town. The partition of Ireland in May 1921 turned Dundalk into a border town and the Dublin–Belfast main line into an international railway.
The Irish Free State opened customs and immigration facilities at Dundalk to check goods and passengers crossing the border by train. The Irish Civil War of 1922–23 saw a number of confrontations in Dundalk; the local Fourth Northern Division of the Irish Republican Army under Frank Aiken, who took over Dundalk barracks after the British left, tried to stay neutral but 300 of them were detained by the National Army in August 1922. However, a raid on Dundalk Gaol freed over 100 other anti-treaty prisoners. Aiken did not try to hold the town and before withdrawing he called for a truce in a meeting in the centre of Dundalk; the 49 Infantry Battalion and 58 Infantry Battalion of the National Army were based in Dundalk along with No.8 armoured locomotive and two armoured cars of their Railway Protection Corps. For several decades after the end of the Civil War, Dundalk continued to function as a market town, a regional centre, a centre of administration and manufacturing, its position close to the border gave it considerable significance during the "Troubles" of Northern Ireland.
Many people were sympathetic to the cause of the Provisional Irish Republican Sinn Féin. It was in this period that Dundalk earned the nickname'El Paso', after the Texan border town of the same name on the border with Mexico. In December 2000, Taoiseach Brian Cowen welcomed US president Bill Clinton to Dundalk to mark the conclusion of the Troubles and the success of the Northern Ireland peace process. Cowen said: Dundalk is a meeting point between Dublin and Belfast, has played a central role in the origin and evolution of the peace process. More than most towns in our country, Dundalk, as a border town, has appreciated the need for a lasting and just peace. On 1 September 1973, the 27 Infantry Battalion of the Irish Army was established with its Headquarters in Dundalk barracks, renamed Aiken Barracks in 1986 in honour of Frank Aiken. Dundalk suffered economically when Irish membership of the European Economic Community in the 1970s exposed local manufacturers to foreign competition that they were ill-equipped to cope with.
The result was the closure of many local factories, resulting in the highest unemployment rate in Leinster, Ireland's richest province. High unemployment produced serious s
Lambretta is the brand name of a line of motor scooters manufactured in Milan, Italy, by Innocenti. The name is derived from the word Lambrate, the suburb of Milan named after the river which flows through the area, where the factory was located. Lambretta was the name of a mythical water-sprite associated with the river which runs adjacent to the former production site. In 1972, the Indian government bought the machinery of the Milanese factory, creating Scooters India Limited in order to produce the Lambro three-wheeler under the name Vikram for the domestic market. Lambretta scooters were manufactured under licence by Fenwick in France, NSU in Germany, Serveta in Spain, API in India, Yulon in Taiwan, Pasco in Brazil, Auteco in Colombia and Siambretta in Argentina. Innocenti S. A. based in Lugano, Switzerland is the owner of the international trademark Lambretta and has licensed the brand throughout the world. In 1922, Ferdinando Innocenti of Pescia built a steel-tubing factory in Rome. In 1931, he took the business to Milan where he built a larger factory producing seamless steel tubing and employing about 6,000.
The factory was bombed and destroyed during World War II. It is said that, when surveying the ruins, Innocenti saw the future of cheap, private transport and decided to produce a motor scooter, competing on cost and weather protection against the ubiquitous motorcycle; the main stimulus for the design style of the Lambretta and Vespa dates back to pre-World War II Cushman scooters made in Nebraska, United States. These olive green scooters were in Italy in large numbers, ordered by the United States military as field transport for the paratroops and marines; the United States military had used them to get around German defence tactics of destroying roads and bridges in the Dolomites and the Austrian border areas. Aeronautical engineer General Corradino D'Ascanio, responsible for the design and construction of the first modern helicopter by Agusta, was given the job by Ferdinando Innocenti of designing a simple and affordable vehicle, it had to be easy to drive for both men and women, be able to carry a passenger and not get its driver's clothes soiled.
D'Ascanio, who hated motorbikes, introduced many changes to his vehicle. It was built on a spar frame with a handlebar gear change and the engine mounted directly onto the rear wheel; the front protection "shield" kept the rider dry and clean in comparison to the open front end on motorcycles. The pass-through leg area design was geared towards women, as wearing dresses or skirts made riding conventional motorcycles a challenge; the front fork, like an aircraft's landing gear, allowed for easy wheel changing. The internal mesh transmission eliminated a source of oil and dirt; this basic design allowed a series of features to be deployed on the frame which would allow quick development of new models. However, D'Ascanio fell out with Innocenti, who rather than a stamped spar frame wanted to produce his frame from rolled tubing, allowing him to revive both parts of his pre-war company. D'Ascanio disassociated himself from Innocenti and took his design to Enrico Piaggio who produced the spar-framed Vespa from 1946 on.
The final design of the Lambretta was done by aeronautical engineers Cesare Pallavicino and Pier Luigi Torre. Pallavicino had been Technical Director at the Caproni airplane factory during World War II before working on the Lambretta design. Torre was an engine designer at Italo Balbo's Idros. Arriving on the market the following year, the 1947 Lambretta featured a rear pillion seat for a passenger or optionally a storage compartment; the original front protection "shield" was a flat piece of aero metal. The fuel cap was underneath the hinged seat, which saved the cost of an additional lock on the fuel cap or need for additional metal work on the smooth skin; the name Lambretta was derived from a mythical water-sprite associated with the Lambrate river which gives it name to the Lambrate area of Milan where the factory was located. Innocenti started production of Lambretta scooters in 1947, the year after Piaggio started production of its Vespa models. Lambrettas were manufactured under licence in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain, sometimes under other names, but always to a recognizable design, e.g. Siambretta in South America and Serveta in Spain.
American retailer Montgomery Ward imported the Lambretta Li125 and sold it via their catalog under the Riverside captive import brand. The French importer of Lambretta, one Henri Willame started a company selling imported microcars under the catch-all "Willam" label. Many of these creations received Lambretta engines, were sold through the French Lambretta network; the four-wheeled version of the Casalini Sulky was sold as the Willam Bretta in France, beginning in 1980. As wealth increased in western Europe in the late 1960s, the demand for motor scooters fell as the small car became affordable to more people and Lambretta sales started to decline, as did the financial status of parent company Innocenti; the British Leyland Motor Corporation took advantage of Innocenti's financial difficulties and their production and engineering expertise and contracted Innocenti to produce cars under licence from BLMC. The Innocenti Mini used the mechanical components of the original, but was in many ways superior to it.
Innocenti was sold to BLMC. Lack of foresight had caused BLMC to join a fashion trend, ending rapidly. Long industrial strikes in BLMC ensued.