Months after the Vespa was launched, in 1947, Innocenti introduced the Lambretta, beginning a rivalry with Vespa.
The scooter was designed by Innocenti, his General Director Giuseppe Lauro and engineer Pierluigi Torre. It debuted in 1947 at the Paris Motor Show.
The Lambretta 'A' went on sale on December 23, 1947 and sold 9,000 units in one year.
It was efficient, 160-180 mpg (miles per gallon) or 68–76 km/litre, at a time when petrol was severely rationed.
It had a top speed of 45 mph (72 km/h) from a fan-cooled engine of 123 cc.
The Lambretta was named after Lambrate, the Milanese neighborhood where the factory stood.
The first Lambretta designs had shaft drive and no rear suspension, later designs used various drive and suspension systems until Lambretta settled on a swingarm-mounted engine with chain drive.