UK - In tutto il mondo VESPA All over the world

Published on 24 May 2024

September 1949: The first Vespa Douglas, imported from Italy, makes an appearance at the London Motorcycles Show, attracting the admiration of press and visitors alike.
As of 1948, Claude McCormack, managing director of the historic British company, has been in discussions to obtain a licence to manufacture the Vespa for the British market. The agreement is finalised in the last few months of 1949, but production does not begin until March 1951.
The first model is a 125 from 1949: in order to comply with British traffic laws, this model has its headlight incorporated into the bodywork. Other highly successful models follow, including the 1957 Vespa “Clubman” with a 150cc engine, imported from Italy. Meanwhile, the Vespa clubs are multiplying: in 1953, these already number 60, with a total of 3000 members.
In 1955, even Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth, becomes the proud owner of a Vespa, and even allows his name to be used to advertise it.
Production on site ceases in 1965, after the manufacture of more than 126,000 units. Douglas remains the official importer of Vespas until 1982.
In the 1960s, the young Mods on the streets of London go crazy for highly-accessorised models: the Vespa 150 GS gains legendary status among them.


1 2 3 4