At the end of the Second World War, Italy, like most of Europe, was desperate for transport. The answer, for many, came in a new type of motorbike – the scooter, pioneered by ex-aircraft manufacturer Piaggio in the form of the Vespa.
The Vespa (Italian for ‘wasp’), a simple, clean and easy-to-ride two-wheeler quickly became a symbol of Italy – especially following its role in ‘Roman Holiday’ with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. It also found followers abroad including all-American hero ‘Big’ John Wayne. Imagine that! Later, of course, it became a symbol of a well-dressed (if rather less well-behaved) British youth sub-culture of the ‘60s.
Originally supplied in kit form to the Indonesian market, this Vespa 150 Sprint was imported into the UK and restored in 2011. It has been little used since – less than 30 km – and is as fine an example of the type as you will find. Pretty in pale blue, with spare wheel and cover, new floor mat and passenger grab rail, OLY 237P is UK-registered and has a current MOT until January 2018. It also comes with a handy original maintenance booklet.