World’s oldest Vespa scooter could reach € 300,000 at auction

London: The world’s oldest Vespa, a handcrafted scooter that featured in Audrey Hepburn’s hit 1953 film Roman Holiday, is up for auction and is expected to fetch € 300,000. The scooter, with chassis number 1003, is the third Vespa ever made by Piaggio, the Italian manufacturer.

The scooter is part of Piaggio’s “0 series”, which included 60 prototypes. The first two prototypes no longer exist. “We hope this Vespa ends up in the hands of a collector or a museum who will protect this piece of Italian history for future generations,” said Davide Marelli, Vespa expert at Catawiki, an auction site in line.

The scooter was handcrafted in 1946 and is in working order. He should raise between 250,000 and 300,000 €.

The history of Vespa dates back to the end of World War II. Piaggio was originally a manufacturer of warplanes, but they were no longer allowed to continue production after the war due to Italy’s collaboration with the Germans.

As a result, Piaggio’s management team reoriented manufacturing efforts on the now famous scooters. From 1946 Piaggio became known for its Vespa scooters which quickly became popular in Italy.

In 1953, the release of Audrey Hepburn’s film Roman Holiday, a film that features the scooter in a leading role, set Vespa on the path to cult status today.

As is the case with some cars, Vespa scooters have become more and more valuable over time. “Thanks to a huge fan base, old Vespa scooters tend to retain their monetary value,” said Marelli. “A 1970s Vespa scooter, for example, may be worth five times its original retail price. The older the Vespa, the more valuable it is,” he said.

The auction is currently underway and will run until March 28.

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The oldest Vespa scooter currently offered for online auction

The oldest Vespa is a prototype of the iconic scooter built in 1946 | Catawiki photos

The world’s oldest Vespa scooter, the third prototype built by Piaggio in 1946, is currently up for auction on the online auction site Catawiki, with an expected result of $ 250,000 to $ 300,000.

That might sound like a lot for a simple Italian scooter, but consider this example a historical artefact of the effort to provide cheap and efficient transportation for a nation devastated by WWII. With several million produced, the Vespa scooter became emblematic of a young Neapolitan way of life and was very popular around the world.

The Vespa with its engine cover removed

The auctions have already exceeded $ 174,000 will be updated for chassis # 1003 – the first two prototypes no longer exist – with five days of auction. The auction is visible on Vespa auction.

The Vespa scooter, based on the original design concept of Corradino d’Ascanio, the engineering genius who also invented the helicopter, is considered an iconic example of industrial art and immediately recognizable everywhere. With its frameless monocoque design and single cylinder engine, gearbox and rear axle combined into one unit, Vespa defined the style of scooter design that continues today.

The oldest Vespa received a ‘tutorial restoration”And is in working order, according to the auction description. The paint has been removed from the body and finished in varnish to show its handcrafted construction.

“Over the years, Vespa has become the # 1 symbol representing Italy,” Davide Marelli, Vespa expert at Catawiki, said in a press release. “The brand is known around the world and many collectors acquire antique Vespas.

“We hope this Vespa ends up in the hands of a collector or in a museum that will protect this piece of Italian history for future generations.”


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The oldest existing Vespa scooter goes up for auction


Catawiki.fr

Sorry Ferrari and Fiat, but one of the most attractive and durable Italian modes of transport has to be the venerable Vespa scooter. Accessible and affordable, embodying fun and adventure, this iconic scooter (the name means Wasp in Italian) dates back to 1946 when warplane maker Piaggio was forced to enter a new manufacturing line at the end of the Second World War.

To quote the original patent application, a Vespa is classified as a ‘motorcycle with rationally placed parts and components with a combined frame with mudguards and an engine cover covering all working parts’, of which “The whole constitutes a rational and comfortable motorcycle offering protection from mud and dust without compromising the requirements of appearance and elegance.

Vespas became part of the cultural landscape with the release of the 1953 film ‘Roman Holidays’, in which Audrey Hepburn was famous on the handlebars with Gregory Peck piloting the streets of Rome in a 1951 Piaggio 125 model.

While this particular model resides in a small museum in Tolochenaz, Switzerland (the Swiss hamlet in which Hepburn resided until his death in 1993), the world’s oldest Vespa goes up for auction this month on the site online auction Catawiki. Carrying the chassis number 1003, it is the third of Piaggio’s “0 Series” of 60 prototype scooters, the first two no longer existing. Not only does the 1003 model still work, but it is expected to make the Ferrari money, which is between 250,000 and 300,000 euros ($ 270,000 – $ 324,420).

“Over the years, Vespa has become the # 1 symbol representing Italy,” says Davide Marelli, Vespa expert at Catawiki. “The brand is known around the world and many collectors acquire antique Vespas. We hope this Vespa ends up in the hands of a collector or museum who will protect this piece of Italian history for future generations. “

The first Vespas were also sold in North America under the Sears Allstate and Cushman brands (we had an older Allstate version with a small two-stroke engine in the late 1980s). Hollywood luminaries immediately turned to the accommodating two-wheeler, with even tough guys like John Wayne, Marlon Brando, Dean Martin and Charlton Heston being seen riding Vespas in their respective movie studios between takes. After withdrawing from the US market in 1981, Vespas returned in 2001 with a new line of premium touring scooters that retain elements of the brand’s iconic styling.

Older Vespas have gained in value in recent years and have become coveted collectibles in their own right. “Thanks to a huge fan base, old Vespa scooters tend to retain their monetary value,” says Marelli. “A Vespa scooter from the 1970s, for example, may be worth five times as much as its original retail price. The older the Vespa, the more valuable it is.”

The auction is currently underway here and will run until March 28.

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