Vespa has not only left its mark on an entire era, but it has even become the symbol of a Europe struggling to rise from the ashes of the Second World War. Piaggio emerged from the conflict with its Pontedera plant completely demolished by bombing. Italys crippled economy and the disastrous state of the roads did not assist in the re-development of the automobile markets.Enrico Piaggio, the son of Piaggios founder Rinaldo Piaggio, decided to leave the aeronautical field in order to address Italys urgent need for a modern and affordable mode of transportation. The idea was to design a vehicle for the masses that could get post war Italy moving again.An aeronautical engineer named Corradino DAscanio, responsible for the design and construction of the first modern helicopter, was given the job of designing a simple, robust and affordable vehicle. The vehicle had to be easy to drive for both men and women, be able to carry a passenger, and not get its drivers clothes dirty.DAscanio, who could not stand motorbikes, dreamed up a revolutionary vehicle. Dipping into his knowledge of aeronautics, he designed a vehicle built on a frame with a handlebar gear, with the engine mounted on the rear wheel. The front fork, like an aircrafts landing gear, allowed for easy wheel changing.
- PIAGGIO VESPA
- Orlando Auto Museum
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