Enrico Piaggio, the son of the founder of the brand Piaggio, Rinaldo Piaggio, decided to leave his work in the aviation field, in order to meet the needs of the Italian people in a modern and accessible vehicle. His idea was to create a vehicle for the masses that will be able to make the post-war Italy moving again and to continue to live.
Aircraft engineer Corradino D'Ascanio, was tasked to develop a simple, reliable and affordable means of transport. It had to be easy to manage, both for men and for women to have a place for the passenger and the driver not to dirty clothes. D'Ascanio, who despised motorcycles, dreamed of a revolutionary new vehicle. Immersed in his knowledge of aeronautics, he created a unit on the basis of the frame with gear shifting on the steering wheel and the motor mounted on the rear wheel. According to the memoirs of the designer: "I figured man, from the comfort of a chair. Then draw front and behind the wheel around its protective covers - and the project is ready! ". So there was elegant in its simplicity, the layout of classic scooter. D'Ascanio applied the principle of combining the functions of aircraft and failure of all superfluous: the rear wheel was attached directly to the output shaft of the gearbox, embossed lining and also served as a frame, the front wheel was attached to the cantilever rack, front fork, like an aircraft landing gear, wheels facilitate easy replacement . The car turned out not only elegant but also easy and simple to maintain. In 1946, the Piaggio Group in the shops where previously collected bombers made the first 2.5 thousand scooters. A few years later stamped their tens of thousands!
In April 1946, the first 15 scooters appeared at the factory Pontedera. The first Vespa was a two-stroke engine of 98 cc and a power of 3.5 hp at 4,500 rpm. He reached a speed of 60 km / h and had three assists. It was a practical two-wheeled vehicle which had absolutely nothing to do with the uncomfortable and noisy motorcycle, but rather at the first sight struck the quality and elegance.
The success of the Vespa - a phenomenon that will never happen again. By the end of 1949 had produced 35,000 scooters - Italy recovering from war wounds and began to move on the Vespa. During the first ten years was made 1,000,000 scooters. By the mid-50s launched production of Vespa in Germany, the UK, France, Belgium, Spain and, of course, Italy. It was only a couple of years later, also started the production in India and Indonesia.
125 cc 1948, the legendary 150 GS of 1955, 50 cc 1963, Primavera 1968, and the PX, born in 1978, is still produced in the classic 125- and 150-cc versions, these are just some of the models that embody the technical and stylistic evolution of the world's most famous scooter.
Vespa - it is not just a scooter. This is one of the greatest icons of Italian style and elegance. And 17,000,000 issued scooters have made this world famous brand. Moreover, Vespa - not just a phenomenon of commercial success, this scooter has played a significant social role. During the "Dolce Vita" word "Vespa" has become synonymous with the word "scooter", the journalists of foreign publications have described Italy as a "country of Vespa», in addition, the significant role played by Vespa in Italian society, reflect dozens of films in which it appears famous scooter. Particularly striking ability Vespa persist from generation to generation, barely changing its appearance. The first Vespa promoted mobility for everyone. He then became two-wheels period of economic boom. In the days of the 60's and 70's, he became a symbol of the revolutionary ideas of the time. Promotional campaigns such as "He Who Vespas, eats the apple", as well as films such as, "Quadrophenia", symbolize the whole epoch of our history. For more than fifty years, Vespa has fascinated millions of people and given the world an irreplaceable symbol of Italian style and a means of personal transport that has become synonymous with freedom.
Few people know, but Vespa - it is not only the style and comfort. This glorious brand looks back on a rich sporting history. In the fifties, the company took a regular part, often successfully, in the European championships in motorcycle racing on the highway and cross-country.
In 1952, the Frenchman Georges Monnere constructed «Vespa-amphibian" to race Paris-London, which was able to successfully cross the English Channel. A year earlier, Piaggio engineers have built a prototype based on the Vespa 125, which set a world speed record at kilometer distance - 171,102 km/h.
In 1951 Vespa achieved outstanding success at the 'International six days "in Varese, winning 9 gold medals and becoming the best Italian motorcycle. In the same year there were numerous rallies with Vespa, including the expedition to the Congo, which was the first of a series of incredible journeys on a scooter, originally designed as an urban and intercity transport.