Stories and Logo Series: The Vespa

June 29,2017

 Every car brand has a heritage of its own. Some manufacturers have been around for more than a hundred years, and some started in a totally different sector. Even the logos of these brands open doors to fascinating stories. No matter what car you are driving, it’s always good to know the story behind a machine in which you spend two hours or more on a daily basis.

 

The same applies to motorbikes and today’s article is dedicated to the Vespa, an Italian brand of scooters manufactured by Piaggio and Co in Italy. The Vespa evolved from a single model motor scooter produced in 1946 to a full line of scooters. The Vespa has captured people’s hearts and became a lifestyle in addition to a means of transportation.

 

Vespa Primavera 150

 

How did the Vespa come to life?

 

Piaggio who previously manufactured airplanes, seaplanes, and timber got affected post World War II as Italy had its aircraft industry severely restricted in both capability and capacity. Also the country’s economy and the infrastructure of its roads did not assist in the re-development of the auto markets. So Enrico Piaggio, the son of Piaggio’s founder Rinaldo Piaggio, decided to leave the aircraft field in order to address Italy's urgent need for a modern and affordable mode of transportation for the public. It is a motorbike that was created to be easily driven by men and women.

 

 

First Vespa produced in 1946

 

The company was aiming to manufacture large numbers of the Vespa, and their enduring developed experience in the field led to an efficient Ford-style volume production line. The scooter was presented to the press at Rome Golf Club, where the toy-like colored object on display impressed journalists. Moreover, the road tests were encouraging, and even with no rear suspension the machine was more maneuverable and comfortable to ride than a traditional motorcycle. The Vespa’s public debut was in 1946 at the Milan Fair, where first fifty sold slowly. After that when payment by installments was introduced, sales rose.

 

Vespa scooters were sold beyond Europe and North America. When expanding into these markets it was common for Vespa to partner with, or license certain models to, existing manufacturers.

                                                          

Vespa LX

 

Recently, many urban commuters have purchased Vespas. The motorbike has gained popularity amongst men and women mainly due to the lack of available parking for automobiles in large urban areas and it’s low running costs.

 

Fun Facts:

  • The name means wasp in Italian.
  • The “Vespa” became so popular worldwide, that limitations were put on it.
  • However, Vespa still topped the market especially with the release of a movie starring Audrey Hepburn on the famous bike in the 1952.

 

  • In the 1950s and early 1960s, Vespa scooters were raced competitively against motorcycles, often winning the races.
  • There have been 34 different versions of the Vespa and more than 130 models produced.
  • Piaggio/Vespa is developing a range of hybrid scooters.

 

Currently there are 5 models in production and in Lebanon it is under ANB Motorcycles dealership.

 

Do you ride a Vespa or wish to own one? Or do you know any additional interesting facts about it? Feel free to share them wish us!

 

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