Iconic Design is a small South African company, based in Johannesburg, who has a love for all things Lambretta.
The founder of the company Jim Plester, experienced the joys of scooters when he purchased his first Lambretta in 1980, aged 16. The Lambretta in question was a GP125, it costly the princely sum of 25 pounds (about two weeks wages) and came in various boxes. Armed with a basic tool kit, a lambretta manual and the deadline of his 17 birthday, Jim set about putting the scooter back together.
Over the next 8 months Jim completely rebuild the Lambretta GP125, it was sprayed a metallic silver and red, the headset and horn-casting were polished to a chrome finish.
During the 80’s & 90’s Jim built various scooters these included a lambretta SX150, Li 150 Special and several Vespa’s including PX’s, Vespa 90 and 125 and a fully raced tuned and customised Vespa PX225 special by Norrie Kerr.
As with life, Jim took a short break from scooters due to family and career.
Most of Jim’s career has been involved with the automotive industry, in particular, interior trim. Jim’s career path was with manufacturing engineering, this involved the development of processes to produce interior trim components.
Jim specialised in CNC machining and CAD/CAM and worked for several companies producing parts for Ford, Jaguar, Mini, Lotus, Rover and Vauxhall. Jim did a short stint working for a supplier into formula one (Jordan) and indie cars, before moving to Rolls Royce and Bentley Motor Cars.
At Rolls Royce & Bentley Jim was employed for his specialist skills in CNC machining, starting as an manufacturing engineer, then senior engineer and manufacturing manager for interior trim. In total Jim worked at Rolls Royce and Bentley for 9 years.
In 2005, Jim moved to South Africa and began working in the aerospace industry as a programme manager. It was not long before he set up his first company selling CAD/CAM software, which he continues to do.
Due to the excellent weather conditions of Johannesburg, it wasn’t long before Jim got feeling that another scooter would be good way to see the surroundings and meet new friends.
So in 2007, Jim bought a 1962 lambretta TV175 series 2, in a sad but useable state. The first thing was to strip it down, rebuild the top end of the engine with new crank, bearings and seals. All the body aluminum parts were chromed, and the rest of the body was sprayed ivory. In 2013 the TV 175 had a make-over and is now as pictured.
Once it was rebuilt Jim hit the streets of Johannesburg and it wasn’t long before he met up with like minded guys and gals. Jim has assisted with several rebuilds for fellow members of the Ace Scooter club (which meets most Sundays at greenside for breakfast and a short ride out). Jim has also rebuilt a lambretta GP200.
It was during 2013, that Jim was inspired by another scooter chair which looked good, but he thought that a lambretta based chair would be far cooler.
With a Li 150 Special waiting to be restored, Jim used the panels off the scooter to develop his first chair. As with anything new, it took time to develop, but with his skills from the automotive industry and his passion for scooters the first prototype was completed.
The reaction form everyone that saw it was great and so cool, which inspired Jim to commission a lambretta scooter chair for anyone who wishes one.
Already in the pipeline is a scooter based sofa, armchair and bar stools.
Watch this space for more exciting lambretta inspired iconic furniture.