Vespas: whether you love them or hate them, these nifty little scooters are popular around the world. But most people aren’t aware of the fascinating history behind the Vespa. Here are a few interesting facts about the two-wheeler:
- Valentino Rossi rides one
Off the racetrack, multiple Moto GP World Championship winner Valentino Rossi loves to zip around on a Vespa. To be fair, it is a special Valentino Rossi-edition Vespa that was issued in his honor, but it still gives it a little bit of street cred.
- Its creator was honored by Adolf Hitler
Yep, it’s true. James Oswald Hoffman who created the Vespa received a decoration from Hitler for his clever design of military equipment. Never fear though, the Vespa was only introduced to the market in the 1950s, after their military factory was leveled by the Allied Forces.
- It’s the most fuel efficient thing on two wheels (aside from a pedal bike)
Mechanically sound Vespa’s are more fuel efficient than any car or motorcycle on the road. Which makes them pretty cool!
- They are fast!
A Vespa is super light…which translates to speed. The bigger Vespa’s can reach speeds of up to 185 kilometers an hour!
- We can thank Audrey Hepburn for their popularity
Gregory Peck took Audrey Hepburn for a spin along the Italian coast in the 1953 movie Quadrophenia, giving them endearing appeal with American audiences.
- There is a whole club of enthusiasts
Vespa owners are collectively known as Vespistis and there are several scooter clubs that you can join up with. Think Harley biker gang, in pastel colors.
- It’s the Scooter of the Stars
The Jonas Brothers, Jamie Oliver, Leonardo DiCaprio and Lady Gaga all own and regularly drive their Vespa’s along the strip. So does Millhouse, from the Simpsons, if you are counting fictional celebrities.
- What’s in a name?
The word Vespa means “wasp” in Italian.
A Vespa or any scooter might not be the most obvious choice to consider when you are buying a vehicle, but they are worth considering. They are easy to drive, effortless to park, low on fuel consumption, cheap to buy and let’s face it: they are super fun! Pick yours up on Gumtree today!