Wheels24

Toughest Vespa yet up for sale

2012-05-11 12:34

If you’re not too busy this weekend (and you happen to be in or near Monaco) you may want to pop around to an auction where one of the rarest Vespas – a battlefield example with a cannon strapped to it – will be shown.

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UK auction house Coys will on May 12, 2012, sell a very rare Vespa scooter built not for impecunious students and smart fashionistas but for the military, complete with a cannon through its leg guards. It's expected to be knocked down for close to R160 000.

The relic has been stored in a military camp in Messina, Italy, for the last 30 years.

'RELIABLE, CHEAP 'N DEADLY!

The Vespa was considered the perfect vehicle in war-time Italy for quick incursions because it was “reliable, manoeuvrable and cheap”, Coys said.

The added appeal of this Militaire model, though, was the cannon incorporated into the front cowling that the rider essentially was required to sit astride. Additional fire-power was provided by rocket-propelled grenades carried in a wicker basket.

All your eggs, sort of thing. Quaint.

The rider, however, had to dismount from the Vespa and put down stabilisers before any rounds could be fired from the cannon.

What a fun way to upgrade a Vespa! This Militaire – despite being in its original condition – has had its cannons deactivated, though.

Comments
  • Vickers - 2012-05-13 07:28

    War time Italy? My history knowledge is rather rusty but I am quite sure that the last time the Italian army was involved in a war was during WWII and that one ended almost 70 years ago. Chances that that cannon was ever fired in anger are very slim.

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