Vintage Ads and Celebrities’ Glamour on These Classic Vespa Scooters » Design You Trust
Advertisement: Click here to learn how to Generate Art From Text
The Vespa scooter was born in 1946, in post-war Italy, out of the desperate need for an affordable and efficient mode of transport.
The conception was driven by Piaggio, inspired by the aeronautical designs of Corradino D’Ascanio. The Vespa’s innovative design consists of a painted, pressed steel unibody and a distinctive flat floorboard.
The initial model, known as MP5 and nicknamed “Paperino,” had a tall central section that Piaggio found displeasing, leading to the commissioning of D’Ascanio for a redesign. D’Ascanio’s design featured an engine mounted next to the rear wheel, removing the drive chain and therefore, the associated oil and dirt. His design, officially referred to as MP6, was the inspiration for the step-through.
Upon first sight of MP6, Enrico Piaggio noted, “It looks like a wasp!”, thereby christening the scooter ‘Vespa.’ Sales for the Vespa increased rapidly, with Hollywood playing a significant promotional role. Vespa scooters were seen by celebrities like Audrey Hepburn and John Wayne. Dean Martin and Charlton Heston also rode them.
Vespa has become a symbol for freedom and imagination in the 1960s. It remains a sought-after symbol of elegance, practicality and style, even though times have changed. The design, which is largely unchanged, continues captivate admirers. Vintage Vespas command high prices at auctions.