Minichamps MIN122129620 1972 Piaggio Vespa 50 Special Scooter - Green (1:12 Scale)
"The real boom came when gas prices rose in 2000. Scooters became an alternative mode of transport. Honda built a factory, and everyone got into the picture."
- Veloci, a local distributor of Vespa scooters, 1997
Vespa is a line of motor scooters that was first manufactured in Pontedera, Italy in 1946 by Piaggio & Co, S.p.A.
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 as well as a singularly endearing and enduring shape.
As the first globally successful scooter, the Vespa has enjoyed prominence in popular culture and has come to symbolize stylish personal transportation.
Pictured here is a 1:12 scale replica of a 1972 Vespa 50 Special scooter painted in green. Sold Out!
Length: 5.25 inches
Height: 3 inches
Release Date: October 2010
Historical Account: "Lineage" - Piaggio continues to manufacture the Vespa today, although the Vespa was much more widely used in the 1950s and 60s, when it also became the adopted vehicle of choice for the UK youth-culture known as Mods. The classic Vespas had unibody chassis pressed from sheets of steel, with bodywork covering the legs for protection from rain and mud. The direct drive engine was covered completely by a steel cowling to appeal to a broader market of people, often turned off by the dirty/greasy stereotype often applied to motorcycles. Piaggio revolutionized the two-wheel industry with the Vespa and provided a model on which nearly every other scooter made since has been based. (courtesy: Wikipedia)