Like many great men behind the well-known motorcycle brands, Enrico Piaggio was a man on a mission after the end of WWII. The Italian had the mind to realise low cost transport for the masses was necessary to get labour to areas of work in order to kick-start the Italian economy. At his manufacturing plant in Biella, he had already produced a prototype motorised scooter tagged Moto Piaggio 5 (MP5) and eventually called Paperino. Even though successful under testing, Piaggio wasn’t enamoured by the finished product.
Luckily for Piaggio, a creative aeronautical designer called Corradino D’Ascanio got in contact with ideas for a new scooter. D’Ascanio and Piaggio immediately clicked and D’Ascanio was left to devise a modern, technically superior machine to the Paperino – something not to difficult to complete because D’Ascanio had just split from a working partnership with Fredinando Innocenti, the man behind Innocenti Lambretta.
The finished project, complete with leg shields to prevent riders getting dirty, and a front wheel resembling that of an aircraft’s nose wheel, was wheeled before Piaggio, who is rumoured to have uttered: “It is like a wasp!”. The Italian translation for wasp is vespa, and this is where the product name Vespa is alleged to have stemmed from.
In 1946, the first Vespa went on sale to the public. Initial reaction to the Vespa 98 wasn’t as strong as expected, but soon made way to adoration with the Vespa 98 Series 2 in 1947, a machine which had all the problem areas of the first bike completely revamped. From this moment on, the Vespa scooter soon became a necessity, fashion icon and much sought after machine. Despite the reduction in sales in the 80s and 90s, today’s Vespa range is very much at the forefront of technology, comfort, reliability and, once more, desirability.
Vespa’s range of scooters is an eclectic mix of modern and futuristic looking models, toned down with retro chic styles, proudly showing the same lines that made Vespa a household name worldwide.
You won’t be disappointed with our service because we have many years experience with Vespa insurance. This is underlined by the fact that Bennetts, as a motorcycle insurance specialist, have access to a wide board of insurance underwriters and their array of services, which we tailor for your needs. This means that we can ensure that we source the most appropriate policy and price for the Vespa of your choice.
Vespausa.com – a pictorial guide to the rich history of Vespa scooters.
Vespaclubofbritain.co.uk – the Vespa Club of Britain is the door to a rich stream of Vespa information, tips, guides and parts location.
Vespas Official Website – the Vespa factory’s official homepage awaits you to take you into a world of history and enjoyment.