Vespa : Wikis (The Full Wiki)

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Vespa GTV 250 ie Sidecar

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Classic Vespa sound

The has evolved from a single motor scooter manufactured in by Piaggio Co. S.p.A. of Pontedera. —to a full line of scooters and one of companies today owned by Europe’s largest manufacturer of vehicles and the world’s fourth motorcycle manufacturer by unit [ 1 ]

From their inception, scooters have been for their painted, pressed unibody which combines a cowling for the engine (enclosing the mechanism and concealing dirt or a flat floorboard (providing protection), and a prominent front (providing wind protection) a structural unit.


150 TAP. modified by the French that incorporated an anti weapon

Post World War II in light of its agreement to cessation of war with the Allies, had its aircraft severely restricted in both and capacity.

Piaggio emerged the conflict with its Pontedera plane plant completely by bombing. Italy’s crippled and the disastrous state of the roads did not in the re-development of the automobile markets. Piaggio, the son of Piaggio’s founder Piaggio, decided to leave the field in order to address urgent need for a modern and mode of transportation for the masses.

The inspiration for the design of the Vespa back to Pre-WWII Cushman made in Nebraska. USA. olive green scooters in Italy in large numbers, originally by Washington as field for the Paratroops and Marines.

The US military had them to get around Nazi tactics of destroying roads and in the Dolomites (a section of the Alps ) and the border areas.

Pre-war employee Aeronautical engineer Corradino D’Ascanio. responsible for the and construction of the first modern by Agusta. was given the job of designing a robust and affordable vehicle for Innocenti. whose pre-war tubing business Innocenti had the same fate as Piaggio Innocenti defined a post-war to D’Ascanio that had to be easy to for both men and women, be able to a passenger, and not get its driver’s clothes


D’Ascanio, who hated designed a revolutionary vehicle. It was on a spar-frame with a handlebar change, and the engine mounted on to the rear wheel. The front shield kept the rider dry and in comparison to the open front end on

The pass-through leg area design was towards all user groups, women, as wearing dresses or made riding a motorcycle a The front fork, like an landing gear, allowed for wheel changing. The internal transmission eliminated the standard chain, a source of oil, and aesthetic misery.

This design allowed a series of to be deployed on the frame, which later allow quick of new models.

However, D’Ascanio had a with Innocenti, who rather a molded and beaten spar-frame to produce his Innocenti frame rolled tubing, thereby him to revive both parts of his company. D’Ascanio disassociated with Innocenti, and took his to Enrico Piaggio to produce the Vespa from 1946. [ 2 ] after overcoming design and later production difficulties his choice of a tubular frame, on to produce the more costly line of motorscooters.


Glove box on newer PX

On 23 April 1946, at 12 o’clock in the office for inventions, models and of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Piaggio e C. S.p.A. took out a for a motorcycle of a rational complexity of and elements combined with a with mudguards and a casing the whole mechanical part. [ 3 ]

The patented design allowed a of features to be deployed on the spar-frame would later allow development of new models. The original featured a rear pillion for a passenger, or optionally a storage The original front protection was a flat piece of aero later this developed in to a skin to allow additional behind the front shield, to the glove compartment in a car.

The cap was located underneath the (hinged) which saved the cost of an lock on the fuel cap or need for metal work on the smooth

The scooter had rigid rear and small 8-inch (200 mm) that allowed a compact and plenty of room for the rider’s The Vespa’s enclosed, horizontally-mounted 98 cc engine acted directly on the drive wheel through a transmission. The twistgrip-controlled gear involved a system of rods.

The engine had no cooling, but fan blades soon attached to the flywheel known as the magneto, which the points and generates electricity for the and for the engine’s spark) to push air the cylinder’s cooling fins. The Vespa engine is still this way. The mixture of oil in the fuel produced high of smoke, and the engine made a buzzing sound like a .


The first prototype was the initials MP5 and baptized Paperino, the name for Donald Duck. a given to it by the workers because of the shape it had. Enrico did not like the design and asked to redesign it—which he did with a aeronautical-derived aerodynamic look. [ 3 ]

the second prototype called was shown to Enrico Piaggio and he the buzzing sound of the engine he Sembra una vespa! (It resembles a The name stuck. [ 4 ]

Vespa is Latin and Italian for wasp from both the high-pitched of the two-… engine, and adopted as a for the vehicle in reference to its body the thicker rear part to the front part by a narrow and the steering rod resembled antennae .

Ape Ah-pay), is Italian for bee. was the three-wheeled variant used for purposes, including the popular rickshaw .


Piaggio a patent for the Vespa scooter in April 1946. The application referred to a model of a practical for a motorcycle with rationally parts and elements with a combining with mudguards and covering all working parts, of the whole constitutes a rational, motorcycle offering protection mud and dust without jeopardizing of appearance and elegance. The patent was the following December.

The first 13 examples appeared in 1946, and reveal their background. In the first examples, one can the typical aircraft technology. to aerodynamics is evident in all the design, in on the tail.

It was also one of the first to use monocoque construction (where the is an integral part of the chassis).

The was aiming to manufacture the new Vespa in numbers, and their longstanding experience led to an efficient Ford-style production line. The scooter was to the press at Rome Golf where journalists were mystified by the strange, pastel toy-like object on display. But the tests were encouraging, and with no rear suspension the was more manoeuvrable and comfortable to than a traditional motorcycle.

its public debut at the 1946 Fair, the first fifty slowly—then with the introduction of by installments, sales took

Sales and development

Original attached to a sidecar

Piaggio some 2,500 Vespas in over 10,000 in 1948, in 1949, and over 60,000 in [ 5 ]

The biggest sales promo was Hollywood. In 1952, Audrey side-saddled Gregory Peck Vespa in the feature film Holiday for a ride through resulting in over 100,000 In 1956, John Wayne his horse in favor of the two-wheeler to get between takes on sets. [ 6 ] By the end of the Lucia Bosé and her husband, the Luis Miguel Dominguín. [ 7 ] as as Marlon Brando.

Dean and the entertainer Abbe Lane had Vespa owners. William filmed Ben Hur in Rome in 1959, Charlton Heston to abandon and chariot between takes to a spin on the Vespa. [ 8 ] [ 9 ]

Vespa popped up throughout Europe, and by worldwide Vespa Club had surpassed 50,000. By the mid-1950s, were being manufactured licence in Germany. the United France. Belgium and Spain ; in the production was started in India. and Indonesia.

By 1956, one million had sold, then two million by By the 1960s, the Vespa—originally conceived as a vehicle—had come to symbolize and imagination, and resulted in further boosts: four million by and ten million by the late 1980s. 1957 and 1961 a reverse-engineered and redesigned version of the Vespa was in USSR under the name [ 10 ]

Improvements were made to the design and new models were The 1948 Vespa 125 had rear and a bigger engine. The headlamp was up to the handlebars in 1953, and had more power and a restyled rear A cheaper spartan version was available. One of the best-loved models was the 150 GS introduced in 1955 with a 150 cc a long saddle, and the faired unit.

Then came the 50 cc of and in 1968 Vespa 125 Primavera one of the most durable of all.

T5 from the PX series

Vespas in two sizes, referred to as largeframe and The smallframe scooters came in 90cc, 100 cc, and 125 cc versions, all using an derived from the 50 cc model of and the largeframe scooters in 125cc,150cc,160cc,180cc and 200 cc using engines derived the redesigned 125 cc engine from the 50’s.

The largeframe Vespa evolved the PX range (produced in 125 and 150 cc versions July 2007) in the late The smallframe evolved into the PK in the early ’80s, although vintage-styled smallframes were for the Japanese market as late as the mid

1990s and beyond

By the early Vespa was in crisis. Its models selling slowly; two-strokes being withdrawn around the due to environmental concerns; new Asian were stealing market with cheaper/lighter bikes; and were very cheap. As a sales had fallen and production in had been pulled back to

Vespa needed a miracle—and a new beyond the PX.

The ET model range true to the wasp/aero design It was lighter, more aerodynamic, had an gearbox and could take a of engines from a 50 cc in either or four-…. up to a 150 cc four …. [ 11 ] it was launched when traffic in major European cities was on the so the smaller wheel size matter. It was a complete success, and Vespa to re-enter the North market in 2001 with a more modern style.

Vespa celebrated its 50th in 1996, more than 15 of the scooters had been sold making it the most successful of all time. Other companies with Piaggio for market but none came close to the success—or romance—of Vespa. The image of Vespa, however, not hide the fact that was making a loss.

Under new

In 2003, the company found close to bankruptcy. Continual changes and millions spent on different plans and products had Piaggio with crushing and left it vulnerable to competition cheaper Asian rivals.

In Piaggio came under the of the Agnelli family, the owners of car Fiat SpA. Vespa until 1992 when Alberto Agnelli became but Agnelli was already suffering … and died in 1997. In Morgan Grenfell Private acquired Piaggio, but a quickly sale was dashed by a failed venture in China.

Then Roberto Colaninno: A lot of people me I was crazy. Piaggio wasn’t It just needed to be treated Piaggio’s finances were in a bad but its brand was still well-known and its were featuring in more films thanks to the Vespa In October 2003 Colaninno an initial investment of 100 million through his holding company SpA in exchange for just under a of Piaggio and the mandate to run it.

Chief Rocco Sabelli redesigned the to Japanese principles so that Piaggio scooter could be on any assembly line.

Colaninno down some rules and quick changes; all bonuses for workers and management were on the same criteria: profit and customer satisfaction. He didn’t a single worker—a move helped seduce the company’s unions. Air conditioning was installed in the and he gave the company’s engineers, who had idled by the company’s financial deadlines for projects.

They rolled out two world in 2004: a gas-electric hybrid and a scooter with two wheels in and one in back which grips the better.

One of Piaggio’s problems Mr. couldn’t fix from the inside was its Even though Piaggio was the market leader, it was dwarfed by Honda and Yamaha. A year rescuing Piaggio, Colaninno to salvage another Italian scooter and motorcycle maker On July 11, 2006, shares of Co. became available to the general through listing on the Milan Stock Exchange or Borsa

Piaggio share prices, to US Dollars, may be found under the symbol: PIAGF.

Re-entry to America

Piaggio first back into the market in with the ET2 (two … and ET4 (four … 150cc). In the PX (model year 2005) was to North America to meet demand for the classic Vespa Growth in the US market and worldwide concerns meant the need for and cleaner engines, so Vespa the LEADER (Low Emissions Engine Range) series of … engines.

The larger frame, with larger (300 mm) wheels, was introduced to the additional power. The bike in spawned a GTS250ie version, an upgraded suspension and the new QUASAR Smooth Augmented Range) fuel injected engine, of 80+ mph. In 2005, the ET was withdrawn Europe and North America and by a new small-frame scooter, the LX range.

were available in the USA in 50 cc and 150 cc versions, Europeans could choose a 50 cc or 125 cc.


With its elegant and classic aesthetics, the Vespa is as the epitome of Italian design. In years, many urban have purchased new or restored A shortage of available parking for in large urban areas and the low running costs are two reasons for the in Vespa (and other popularity.

The cultural use of the scooter as a vehicle with a sub-cultural in the USA/Canada and parts of Europe has also contributed to the rise in ownership. In contrast, the Vespa is a utilitarian vehicle for hauling and sometimes up to 5 family members in of Asia and Mexico

Vespa can visit the comprehensive Piaggio Gift Shop adjacent to the in central Pontedera, near Tuscany. The permanent exhibition those items which prestigious venues such as the in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Also on display is, perhaps, the famous Vespa of them one personally customised by Salvador in 1962.

The helpful museum speak English.



Vespa GTV 250 ie Sidecar
Vespa GTV 250 ie Sidecar

Vespa’s largest by all measures globally is still but as a result of the mod subculture that in the 1960s, the United Kingdom is Vespa’s second largest market—and at one point in the 1960s, its The appeal of the Vespa to the style-conscious was the weather protection.

Their the rockers rode classic motorcycles such as Triumph and BSAs. and needed to dress up in against both the elements and oily bikes. Mods modify their Vespas, lights, mascots, accessories, racks and crash bars. A new evolved in the UK, with thousands scooter rallies .

The dominance of the Vespa declined the 1970s, as small car ownership and cheap and reliable commuter like the Honda Super Cub hit Despite the introduction of the more ‘P’ range in the 1970s, the of development cost Vespa, and other markets, the sales off drastically in the economic boom of the Then Vespa introduced the automatic ET2, London the congestion charge and—partly celebrity chef Jamie ‘s indirect help his BBC2 series—sales suddenly [ 12 ]

North America

Much as had used the Cushman Army as inspiration for its original design, in turn also made for Sears and Cushman post War II. [ 13 ]

Imported by Morton Colby of General Tire Company, 662 E. Road, Bronx, New York, the models were 3 and 4 speed 125 cc rebadged as Sears Allstate Innocenti also distributed Lambretta brand via Montgomery catalogue at this post period. These were the brands of scooters, bringing pricing to many, including whose link to the outside was via purchases made in these

Cushman sold rebadged scooters as Cushmans, but many dealers refused to market a machine. However, collectors the Cushman Vespa because it is rare.

Bankruptcy of Vespa’s importer due to two expensive product lawsuits, increased competition Japanese manufacturers, and certain passing so-called green caused a withdrawal from the US in late 1981.

During despite an absence of United domestic sales, Vespas to have a core group of who kept vintage scooters on the by rebuilding, restoring, and adding enhancing engine parts as the parts would wear

Vespa returned to the US market in with a new, more style ET series, in 50 cc two and four and 150 cc four …. According to the Industry Council, U.S. sales increased fivefold six years, swelling from units in 1997 to 69,000 in 2002. Vespa sales in the increased 27 percent between and 2002.

The 65 Vespa Boutiques throughout the U.S. gave a place to buy, service, and Vespa scooters, and outfit in everything from Vespa and helmets to Vespa jackets, and sunglasses. Vespa restarted its sales effort, opening its boutique on Ventura Boulevard in Oaks, Calif.

In light of increasing US sales, Vespa the GT, offered 200 cc four … and a 125 cc in Europe. In 2004 Vespa a modernized PX 150 to the US. In the fall of 2005, offered their largest scooter model ever, the 250 cc GTS250 available in Europe ABS.

Rest of the world

Vespa in transport business

acquired popularity beyond and North America. When to expand into markets of Europe and North America, it was for Vespa to partner with, or certain models to already manufacturers. Thoughthe motorcycle has been and still is dominated by companies, Vespa still has a but significant markets.

While details are sometimes to come by, especially in some some information is known.

Piaggio first licensed the of Vespa scooters in India to Auto in the 1960s. In 1971, license was not renewed as a part of Gandhi’s privatization programs. the collaboration ended, Bajaj to produce scooters of its own design, the Chetak, using design and cues it had gleaned from the affiliation.

Another Vespa in India was that of LML Motors. as a joint-venture with Piaggio in LML, in addition to being a parts supplier for Piaggio, the P-Series scooters for the Indian In 1999, after protracted with Piaggio, LML bought Piaggio’s stake in the company and the ceased.

LML continues to produce also exports) the P-Series known as the Stella in the U.S. and by other names in different

Piaggio, in 2007, announced to reenter the Indian market. time, however, Piaggio to do so with a wholly owned


Vespa has had various and presence in Taiwan. In 1965 Vespa Co. Ltd was licensed for Vespa production. From 1972 to Vespa entered into a with manufacturer PGO.

In Vespa entered into a with TGB. which to extent, continues to this day with CVT transmission production).

A company known as Dan Motors produced Vespas under for the Indonesian market.

Vintage from other countries

The in interest in vintage motor has also spawned the scooter industry, with many Vespas being exported Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia to the of the world. This has created amongst scooter enthusiasts as the of the restorations varies greatly. [ needed ]


In the 1950s and 1960s, Vespa and Lambretta were raced competitively motorcycles, often winning the In the mid 1960s, motorcycle engines larger and faster, and a gap was created—along varying cc classifications. Since the Vespa and Lambretta racing has into a serious sport in the States.

There are various in the United States, depending on the association. They are generally:

Frame Class: Open up to 152 cc’s

Automatics Class


Stock Class: Vespa and Lambretta 180 200 cc scooters.


There have 138 different versions of the Vespa; there are five models in the classic, manual transmission PX; and the CVT transmission S, LX, GT, and GTS.

Vespa GTV 250 ie Sidecar
Vespa GTV 250 ie Sidecar
Vespa GTV 250 ie Sidecar
Vespa GTV 250 ie Sidecar
Vespa GTV 250 ie Sidecar
Vespa GTV 250 ie Sidecar
Vespa GTV 250 ie Sidecar
Vespa GTV 250 ie Sidecar
Vespa GTV 250 ie Sidecar
Vespa GTV 250 ie Sidecar


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