The idea to open a specialist Lambretta restoration shop came about in '94 due to the fact that at the time in Italy there were absolutely no dealers interested in post-'57 Lambretta’s. Initially started up in a single lock-up garage, shortly afterwards the first shop (originally called Adriatica Lambretta) was opened in Igea Marina, a small seaside town just north of Rimini, in '95 and quickly got itself a reputation for top-level restorations. A partnership shuffle and name change later to Rimini Lambretta Centre (RLC) and the shop was relocated to Borghi, situated in the hills overlooking Rimini. 20 years after starting up, in mid-2014, RLC moved to it’s current location in Poggio Berni, in the Rimini area.
Rimini Lambretta Centre was established by Dean Orton who acquired his first scooter at the age of 14, following in his Father's footsteps, who was also an avid Lambretta builder during the 1970s in Cornwall. He has untold scooters featured in various publications over the years and still regularly writes articles. Dean attended a lot of Mod rallies in the UK and abroad from '84 up until his move to Italy in July '92. As with everyone else involved with RLC, Dean uses his scooters daily for both work, pleasure and scooter rally use. Dean’s role at RLC is ensuring all runs smoothly with his time split between overseeing the shop’s stock, the websites, buying and selling, new product innovation, (non-Italian) customer liaison, project design and making sure that there is a good supply of Limoncino in the shop’s fridge.
All RLC’s parts shipping, stores, spare parts management and Italian customer liaison are down to Isabella Antonioli. Isa has been with RLC (literally) since day one and has been essential in seeing the company evolve to its current size and location. She runs the shops accounts, liaises with suppliers and also works in the retail shop. Together with Alex, Isa is one of the people who’ll greet you with a smile if you’re coming into the shop in person. Isa has her own scooters, including a full custom Lambretta TV225, and she attends a lot of the Italian national scooter rallies, putting in thousands of miles each year.
Marco ‘Minghe’ Pennesi makes sure all runs sweetly on the workshop side of things. Marco is 101% Mod through and through and this Mod attention to detail means that you can rest easy when he's working on your scooter, ensuring that the job will always be above and beyond expectations. He uses his scooters all year round and clocks up a lot of miles due to his fetish for long distance travelling. This means that he is able to test the products we sell and use for resto's first hand, thus ensuring that the quality you expect from RLC is guaranteed. Marco is at his happiest when fully immersed in scooter parts and restoring customers Lambretta’s. If the customers’ scooter also just happens to have a Mod slant, then he is truly a happy bunny.
Also in the RLC workshop you’ll find Michele 'Mickyboy' Carlini, who shortly after arriving at RLC, fully immersed himself totally into the world of Lambretta’s hook, line, sinker and copy of Angling Times. His ability to quickly learn anything mechanical, coupled with an abundance of enthusiasm means he is now an invaluable asset to RLC. Mickyboy is also RLC's speed-king and his tuning abilities mean that his knowledge comes into great use when setting up engines. One of the first things he purchased once we had moved to the new shop was a state-of-the-art dyno and that is now seeing some serious use as Micky reaps it’s benefits not only for standard machines but also for the R&D of the new Casa Performance range of products for which he is heavily involved. Again, all these products need to be tested to the absolute limit so it’s a good job that Mickyboy uses his scooters for this purpose on a daily basis - and believe us when we say he is no slouch.
Also in RLC’s workshops you’ll find Lorenzo ‘Men’ Fiori who was specifically head-hunted by us to join the team. Men is a speed freak and runs has an amazing knowledge of 2 stroke tuning, being a self-confessed scooter-orientated petrol head. Working alongside Mickyboy, they are the guys who run the victorious Casa Lambretta Racing Team for Vittorio Tessera and are continuously adding to, testing, designing and developing all the amazing products in the Casa Performance range of parts. Men has taken RLC’s technological capacity to a new level and he shows no sign of letting up. Although very quiet by nature don’t let that apparent silence fool you – in his mind he is in constant overdrive, ever thinking of new ways to increase the power of our Lambretta engines. This ability has ensured that he’s quickly become a valuable asset to the RLC set-up.
Another important member of the RLC team is Gioele ‘Joe’ Benvenuti, who despite being a Vespa rider upon arrival, soon embraced all things Lambretta. Quiet and meticulous by nature, Joe is now a valuable asset in the in the workshops and has gained an incredible knowledge of both vintage restorations and the tuning side of things. His skills help the workshop team to maintain a constant flow of machines coming and going at all times and Joe’s attention to detail is noted by all our customers.
RLC ships parcels all over the World and that service is largely thanks to Alex ‘Skinza’ Candoli. He is the person who runs the RLC’s stores and keeps a close tab on RLC’s ever increasing stock, quality control of the same and he also liaises with all our suppliers.
In between shipping your parts, Alex professionally runs the shop counter and has built up a veritable army of ‘shop regulars’ who like his no-nonsense attitude along with his ability to satisfy their every Lambretta need. Alex is the person who you’ll speak to if you call through to the Stores department and is both dependable and completely reliable. Top Skin indeed.