A FORMER Hampshire scooter track champion is back on the road – following a restoration lasting 40 years.

Peter Hockley of Fareham, now 70, is back “throwing” his restored Lambretta Li150 Special round corners more than half century after he bought it.

Peter purchased his bike for £177/7s/6d in 1964 when he was working as an apprentice draftsman, aged 16.

The purchase marked the start of a biker way of life for Peter who became a leading player in the south coast scooter scene, first with the Fareham Trendsetters and then with the Hampshire Union club which would go down in folklore as one of the leading racing clubs in the country.

The life also came with parkas, foot-stomping music, coffee shops and, ultimately, a reputation as the most fearless of all racers on the legendary Wildcat Lambrettas.

He became national scooter track champion in 1969, racing both solo on his own Li150 and with a sidecar passenger in the Wildcat combinations, before hanging up his leathers in the early ‘70s and retiring his scooter from the road in the process.

Now, after a restoration spanning 40 years, Peter has decided to get back on the silver Lambretta he rode all over the country, but despite the astronomical rise in value scooters have seen over the past decade, Peter never once thought about selling his unused Lambretta.

He said: “Selling it was not even a thought process.“I remember some very good times with it and still enjoy riding it, so why sell it? It was not particularly in the way anyway, it was just there in the garage.

“I live on a little circular estate and I was going round and round on that originally, just to get a feel for it.

“I got back into the handling side of things and then slowly but surely went further and further away from home until I’d got the confidence and reliability back.

“Once you’ve been on two wheels it never leaves. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been out of it, it’s still ingrained in your brain. I was like ‘yahoo, this is nearly as good as it used to be’.

“Now I’m flinging it round corners again, but I’m not quite so wild and reckless as I was.

“My wife Val used to ride on the back but she’s said there’s no way she’s getting on the back of that thing anymore! She’s chuffed I’ve got it back on the road though after all these years.”

The Lambretta Li150, originally produced only in silver, featured styling from the TV range of scooters, with an uprated Li powerplant including a modified barrel and head, closer gear ratios and carburettor that allowed more

fuel into the combustion chamber.