Vespa is an Italian brand of scooter manufactured by Piaggio. The name means wasp in Italian. The origin of the name is uncertain. It seems that when the Engineer Ascanio Corradini presented the scooter to Enrico Piaggio, he said “it seems a wasp!” He was most likely referring to the sound of the engine and the peculiar shape of the body.
In fact, the body is one of the most unmistakable features of the Vespa. A pressed steel monocoque replaces the frame. It also completely covers the engine and transmission. It was a key difference compared to motorbikes as it allowed people to use Vespa even when dressing their daily clothes. The large front fairing and the flat floorboard provide additional protection and comfort to the driver.
The model Vespa 50 Special was produced from 1969 to 1983. The model was substantially improved compared to previous versions. It was much more resistant and the design was more modern and intriguing. The headlight had a rectangular shape; the body was more stable and robust. It was also possible to carry a spare wheel in the rear part of the body. Vespa 50 Special was priced 68,000 Liras, equivalent to several months clerk’s salary. Despite that, it didn’t have indicator lights and the speedometer was optional.