Undoubtedly having a Vespa is the dream of the majority of Italian people. In 60’s Vespa meant wellness, comfort and freedom while nowadays vespa represents vintage and style. For this reason, during the years Vespa has become a real status symbol. After the Second World War, Italy was in terrible economic situation. The transports were absolutely inefficient and slow. In this problematic situation where transports were absolutely inefficient and, Vespa started its success. How vespa managed to do it?
The idea of Corradino D’Ascanio, the main engineer of Piaggio was focused on the realization of practical and useful motorcycles for everyone. For this reason Vespa was planned with a spare wheel and it could be driven easily. Furthermore the price of Vespa was very cheap and this led to consider it the ideal means of transport of that period. Talking about the success of Vespa, it is worth mentioning the Siluro Vespa realized in 1951 .Immediately Siluro Vespa conquered the record of mile age.
But, what about the name? In Italian language Vespa means wasp. The name Vespa was chosen for the shape and for the noise of the motorcycle that reminded a wasp. Another important model was undoubtedly Vespa 98. Vespa 98 didn’t achieve the 60km/h. It hadn’t the easel and the price was about 68.000 lira. Very Soon Vespa became the ideal transport vehicle ant it was used for travelling and for doing sport. The big success led Piaggio to product special models for sport competitions as for example Vespa 6 days.
The first model of Vespa was planned in 1943 by Renzo Spotti and it was called Vespa Paperino that it could be translated in English language with Vespa Donald Duck. By the way, Enrico Piaggio wasn’t enthusiastic of the idea of Spotti and the project wasn’t realized. Ten years later Vespa 150 side car was produced. This model had a great success because it was characterized by one wheeled attached to the side of the motorcycle, producing a three wheeled vehicle. In 1958 Piaggio produced Vespa 400 and this was the only four wheeled vehicle.
Looking at the history of Vespa, it is possible to find many other different and interesting models of Vespa. In each case, Vespa wanted to recreate the comfort, originality and style of the vehicles. Even today this aspect has led Vespa to become the icon of Italian motorcycles. Before concluding this travel about the history of Vespa, it’s worth mentioning the model T.A.P that was produced after the request of the Minister of the defence of France. In this case the motorcycle was idealized for a parachute activity.
In 1963 Piaggio produced Vespa 50. This model was the most popular for young people because it could be driven without driven licence and without the register. Vespa 50 represents even the end of Piaggio production followed by Corradino D’ascanio.