Vespa, always cool

In 1946 Italy, both the economy and the roads had been ruined by World War II. The Piaggio company, which had once manufactured airplanes, set out to make a mode of transportation that was cheap, comfortable to drive for both sexes.

With the Vespa – the Italian word for wasp – Piaggio ended up revolutionising the two-wheel industry. Nearly every motor scooter made since has been based on the aerodynamic and elegant Vespa. One of the motor scooter’s first spikes in sales came in 1953 after the Audrey Hepburn-Gregory Peck movie Roman Holiday.

The enduring classic, about a princess who runs off with a reporter on his Vespa, introduced many Americans to Italian style and tragic romance.

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The appeal of the Vespa to the style conscious Mods was weather protection – as opposed to their counterparts the Rockers, who rode classic British oily twins like Triumph Bonneville and BSAs, and needed to dress up in leather against both the elements and their oily bikes.

AJ Scooters (a_j_scooter@yahoo.com.sg) in Singapore hold regular rallies where hundreds of scooter fans come together, and they recommend Jin Cheng Motors for all your Vespa and accessory needs.

The address is Block 3007, Ubi Road 1, #01-456, Singapore 408701, tel: 6746 6786. Ask for Mr Ah Joo and tell him Think Magazine sent ya!