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Scoot Around Town
Why Ride a Vespa?
Why Ride a Vespa?
Onboard a Vespa, life never passes you by. Instead, it serves notice to pay closer attention. New sights, sounds and smells all rev up your senses and the spirit of freedom, fun and adventure is suddenly in abundant supply. With the simple twist of a throttle, you're on your way to experiencing everything around you with heightened awareness and a fresh perspective. And, Vespa makes it all so easy, inexpensive and environmentally friendly.
With an automatic twist n' go transmission, upright riding position and the security of Vespa's unique steel frame, you can focus on the thrill and adventure of the ride. An exceptional average fuel economy of 70 mpg means you'll dip into your wallet far less frequently than even public transportation users...an average of just $8 fills up your tank. And, the clean-running Vespa four-stroke engine gets you there with minimal emissions. Parking? It's never been easier, thanks to Vespa's unintrusive footprint. Let others hog an entire parking space - you'll invite six fellow Vespa riders to share that same space with you. And while everyone's spinning their wheels talking about future solutions, you're reducing energy consumption, environmental pollution and traffic congestion right now. Now that's easy.
Vespa is an Italian line of scooters manufactured by Piaggio.
The Vespa has evolved from a single model motor scooter manufactured in 1946 by Piaggio & Co. S.p.A. of Pontedera, Italy—to a full line of scooters and one of seven companies today owned by Piaggio—now Europe's largest manufacturer of two-wheeled vehicles and the world's fourth largest motorcycle manufacturer by unit sales.
From their inception, Vespa scooters have been known for their painted, pressed steel unibody which combines a complete cowling for the engine (enclosing the engine mechanism and concealing dirt or grease), a flat floorboard (providing foot protection), and a prominent front fairing (providing wind protection) into a structural unit.
The Vespa was the first globally successful scooter!
How Vespa Started
Post World War II Italy, in light of its agreement to cessation of war activities with the Allies, had its aircraft industry severely restricted in both capability and capacity.
Piaggio emerged from the conflict with its Pontedera fighter plane plant completely demolished by bombing. Italy's crippled economy and the disastrous state of the roads did not assist in the re-development of the automobile markets. Enrico Piaggio, the son of Piaggio's founder Rinaldo Piaggio, decided to leave the aeronautical field in order to address Italy's urgent need for a modern and affordable mode of transportation for the masses.
The inspiration for the design of the Vespa dates back to Pre-WWII Cushman scooters made in Nebraska, USA. These olive green scooters were in Italy in large numbers, ordered originally by Washington as field transport for the Paratroops and Marines. The US military had used them to get around Nazi defense tactics of destroying roads and bridges in the Dolomites (a section of the Alps) and the Austrian border areas.
Pre-war Piaggio employee Aeronautical engineer General Corradino D'Ascanio, responsible for the design and construction of the first modern helicopter by Agusta, was given the job of designing a simple, robust and affordable vehicle for Ferdinando Innocenti, whose pre-war metal tubing business Innocenti had suffered the same fate as Piaggio post-war. Innocenti defined a post-war vehicle to D'Ascanio that had to be easy to drive for both men and women, be able to carry a passenger, and not get its driver's clothes dirty.