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An exquisitely social appliance

September 19, 2011

I ran across this wonderful documentary film. It’s a concise history of the Italian motor scooter, with some great film clips. Like one where Corradino d’Ascanio shows how he came up with the design for the original Vespa.

There are also lots of fascinating facts—did you know the engine in the 1946 Vespa 98 was originally a starter motor for engines in Piaggio airplanes?

The clip above is part one of three (YouTube has a 10-minute limit); don’t miss the other two. The complete package looks like an episode of a British TV series, apparently from sometime in the late ’80s or early ’90s (?). Or some other time when the motor scooter was thought to be fading away.

We all know better, don’t we? Favicon

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3 Comments
  1. September 19, 2011 5:13 pm

    Excellent catch, Orin. I really wish I had time (and bandwidth) to poke around on YouTube to find some of these gems; all three segments = keepers. But yeah… a bit premature pronouncing them dead, huh? I know know of four Lammys in the Nashville area, and metric buttloads of vintage Vespas, of course. There’s even a Bajaj Ape, here.

  2. Jack Riepe permalink
    September 20, 2011 12:41 pm

    Dear Orin:

    I love a good documentary that has something of a happy ending. Good post, as usual.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack/Reep
    Twisted Roads

  3. Dan Gould permalink
    September 22, 2011 10:31 am

    yeah nice one!!

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