Enrico Piaggio and the Vintage Vespa Scooter
Although the Vintage Vespa scooter has been around longer than the Lambretta, they did not have the same strength of following in the UK, possibly to do with the 'SX appeal' of the later Lambretta models.
The Vespa (which means "wasp" in Italian) was the result of Enrico Piaggio's determination to create a low cost method of transport for the masses, after the destruction and chaos caused by the 2nd World War. The prototype motor cycle, known as the MP 5, was nicknamed "Paperino" (the Italian name for Donald Duck) because of its strange shape. Corradino D'Ascanio redesigned this initial model; resulting in the Vespa being first produced in Pontedera in April 1946.
The Douglas Company
The Douglas Company in Bristol had produced motorcycles since 1907, but in 1948 an arrangement with Piaggio enabled Vespa's to be build under licence in England. Vespa production ceased in 1965, after producing some 126,230 machines. Douglas continued to be the British importer of until 1982.
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