It was built in 1946, which makes it the oldest existing Vespa
The oldest existing Vespa is in auction until April 28th. It was built in 1946 and can reach the value of 275 thousand pounds.
The “Number 3″ survivor, that belongs to the zero series of the brand, is part of the first copies (about 60) manufactured in an artisanal way. It has the number 1003 written on the chassis (the numbers start from 1001). It possesses a motor with a unique cylinder with 98cc of 2 times, with air refrigeration and a box with three gears.
The brand records reveal that only a lot with 60 copies were built initially, from which only three remained intact. Amongst them was the Vespa which is now in auction in Catawiki, which because of its chassis number became the oldest known. The production of Vespa was previously industrialised between 1946 and 1948, reaching the 15 thousand copies.
At the end of the Second World War Enrico Piaggio, the company’s director, which specialised in production of trains and planes, requested that one of the engineers, Renzo Spolti, produced a new motorcycle which could be used by everyone as a symbol of the war rebirth.
This request originated the MP5 (motorcycle, Piaggio #5), known as “Donald Duck”, and originator of the modern age Vespa, of which 100 copies were produced.
However, Enrico Piaggio was not convinced by the project and the aeronautic engineer Corradino D’Ascanio was selected to replace Spolti, ending up winning the title of “Vespa’s Father”, which would end up becoming an Italian cult and symbol object all over the world.
According to Catawiki, the Vespa’s auction, which ends on April 28th, may reach between 215 and 275 thousand pounds.