Move over Gregory Peck, it’s now my turn to ride side saddle with Audrey Hepburn on this vintage toy Vespa. That’s right, in 1952 Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck rode a Vespa through Rome in the feature film Roman Holiday and it resulted in over 100,000 sales of Vespas. Quite a brand promotion courtesy of Hollywood. Since that time Vespa has evolved from a single motor scooter manufactured in Italy to a full line of scooters and one of seven companies today owned by Piaggio and Company. But the origin of the Vespa is quite interesting and surprising.
Vintage Toy Vespa
After World War II, the Italian aircraft industry was severely restricted in both capability and capacity. Italy’s economy was crippled and the war left it’s roads and highways in a disastrous state. Not an incentive for the auto industry to produce more cars. So Enrico Piaggo wanted to address Italy’s urgent need for a modern and affordable mode of transportation for the general public. Thus, the Vespa was born. Piaggo filed a patent for the unique Vespa design in 1946. The patent was described as a rational, comfortable motorcycle that offered protection from mud and dust without jeopardizing requirements for appearance and elegance. Sounds like my kind of vehicle. But i will settle for this vintage toy Vespa. It’s not motorized but it will get me where I’m going. Chow.