Vespa Dalì

In the summer of 1962, the vehicle that has since become probably the world’s most valuable Vespa carried two Madrid University students, Santiago Guillen and Antonio Veciana, on a tour of Europe.

The two youths, headed for Rome and then Athens, met the master of surrealism in Cadaquez, the first stop on their trip. In the words of one journalist, Salvador Dalì “true to his reputation, decided to decorate the Vespa in bizarre fashion, adding his signature and the name of his partner and muse Gala.”

Hence this scooter entered the annals of history, becoming a true myth for Vespa fans.

Found and restored (without however touching the parts decorated by Dalì), the Vespa quickly drew interest from several museums. After a first outing in the summer of 1999 to the annual Eurovespa rally, held that year in Girona, Spain. The scooter was on display at “The Art of Motorcycle” exhibition with which the Guggenheim Museum of New York inaugurated its Bilbao museum. The Vespa Dalì’s last international outing took place in 2000 at VespArt, a London exhibition. Subsequently, the exhibition’s eight Vespas decorated by eight British celebrities including Duran Duran lead singer Simon Le Bon were auctioned for charity at Sotheby’s.

Right side
Dalì's signature and date
Left side
The name of Dalì's lover and muse GALA
125 prototipo militare (VMA1T)

Like other motorcycle producers, Piaggio spent part of its research to the military use of vehicles.

The first projects presented to the Ministry of Defence in Italy date back to the beginning of the fifties, of which there is written evidence such as drawings (like the image that compares the Vespa 125 with a motorcycle). The 1964 model derives from the Vespa 125 (VMA1) with a few changes on the frame to reduce encumbrance. In fact, the handlebar and the front wheel can be quickly removed and placed on the left-side sack. After negotiations with the Italian Ministry of Defence, the Vespa military has remained as a prototype.

Engine
2-stroke single cylinder engine
Bore
55 mm
Stroke
51 mm
Displacement
121, 17 cc
Top speed
80 Km/h
Suspensions
coil spring and hydraulic shock absorber on both wheels
Brakes
drums
Tyres
3.00-10"
Vespa Alpha

This vehicle appeared in the film “Dick Smart, Agent 2007” starring Richard Wyler, Margaret Lee, Rosanna Tapados.

For this movie, the Vespa 180 Super Sport was transformed by Piaggio and by the English factory Alpha Willis to race along the road, fly like a helicopter, sail and dive like a submarine.

Engine
2-stroke single cylinder engine
Bore
62 mm
Stroke
60 mm
Displacement
181.145 cc
Top speed
105 km /h
Suspensions
coil spring and hydraulic shock absorber on both wheels
Brakes
Drums
Tyres
3.50-10"
Vespa PX gigante

This Vespa PX model was built in 1977 to launch the Vespa “Nuova Linea” (“New Line”) in Paris. Brought back and jealously guarded by the Recovery Warehouse Piaggio team, the Vespone is now one of the most appreciated attractions of Piaggio Museum.

Manca scheda tecnica
-
ET4 150 Ferrari

Piaggio’s homage to the Ferrari racing stable on the occasion of their victory in the Formula One World Championship 2000. These vehicles, personalised with the names Montezemolo, Todt, Schumacher and Barrichello, are painted the Ferrari red, the leather saddle is made of the same material used to upholster Ferrari cars.

Engine
4-stroke single cylinder engine Piaggio L.E.A.D.E.R
Bore
57 mm
Stroke
48.6 mm
Displacement
151cc
Top speed
95 km/h
Suspensions
single arm with hydraulic shock absorber and coil spring at the front, mono hydraulic shock absorber with pre-charge adjustable in four positions at the rear
Brakes
disc at the front, drum at the rear
Tyres
front 100/80x10", rear 120/70x10"
Eco-Vespa (Vesparte)

In 2001, Piaggio organised the Vesparte competition. Fourteen Vespa ET4 scooters were entered, interpreted with a mixture of art and design. The Eco-Vespa was created by Rossella Guerrieri (Piaggio Style Centre

Realized by
Rossella Guerrieri
Vespa in jeans (Vesparte)

In 2001, Piaggio organised the Vesparte competition. Fourteen Vespa ET4 scooters were entered, interpreted with a mixture of art and design.

Vespa in jeans, “always keeping up with the times” (the Vespa is a classic, like the timeless fashion garment), was developed by PPG Industries.

Realized by
PPG Industries
Vespa Pezzo Unico (Vesparte)

In 2001, Piaggio organised the Vesparte competition. Fourteen Vespa ET4 scooters were entered, interpreted with a mixture of art and design. The winner was Nicolino Di Carlo (Piaggio Style Centre) with the Vespa “Pezzo Unico”, where the artist restores to the industrial object what mass production had taken away: the ability to be a work of art.

Realized by
Nicolino Di Carlo
Vespa Game (Vesparte)

In 2001, Piaggio organised the Vesparte competition. Fourteen Vespa ET4 scooters were entered, interpreted with a mixture of art and design. Vespa Game by Laura Giraldi (Industrial Design School in Florence) contains the instructions for a game along a route illustrating social and cultural change among young people over 50 years.

Realized by
Laura Giraldi
Vespa mucca pazza (Vesparte)

In 2001, Piaggio organised the Vesparte competition. Fourteen Vespa ET4 scooters were entered, interpreted with a mixture of art and design. The runner-up was Paolo Maria Iemmi (Piaggio Style Centre) with “La mucca è pazza per la Vespa”. The extraordinary edition of the Piaggiornale reports a mad cow disease whose symptoms are “a feverish passion for speed, a thirst for freedom, a mad joy for life”.

Realized by
Paolo Maria Iemmi
Vespa Trafeli (Mitologica Vespa)

The Vespa PX becomes a real work of art, moulded and shaped by Mino Trafeli’s creativity. A precious anthological exhibition of Trafeli’s works is hosted in the halls of the Piaggio Museum in 2003. “Mitologica Vespa” (“Mythological Vespa”) was donated to the museum’s collection by its author, and was defined as follows: “A parallel game that distorts the object in order to create a new shape, using unsuitable materials thus giving birth to new considerations on the object itself. Re-considering, beside the visual inertia that leads to the shapes’ inurement, the scooter aesthetical valence, and re-discovering the meaning of its unique style which has maintained its original characteristical form, despite the changes of time”.

Realized by
Mino Trafeli
Materials
alabaster details
Vespa “San Valentino”

Vespa in copper made by the artist Mario Giuntini and donated to the Piaggio Museum in October 2013. Mauro Giuntini, born in Rome in 1948, attended the painting course of Afro Basaldella from 1969 to 1971 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence; he graduated in 1973 from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, attending the sculpture course held by Alik Cavaliere.

Realized by
Mario Giuntini
Materials
Copper
Vespa truccata

A papier-mache tribute to the Vespa, created in 2007 by two young Carnival-devotees from Viareggio (Annalisa Benedetti and Luca Bertozzi).

Realized by
Annalisa Benedetti and Luca Bertozzi
Material
Papier-mache
Ape 50 Europe 60 anni

An Ape 50 Europe decorated from a project by the Piaggio Style Office for the Ape’s 60th anniversary celebrations (2008) with a collage of vintage advertising images and articles on the Ape.

Realized by
Esanastri
LX Blue Peter

In the summer of 2010, the reporters of the BBC’s famous children’s program Blue Peter were invited to film in the Piaggio factory, where they “produced” a Vespa LX with the Blue Peter colours and logo. The Vespa was subsequently donated to the Piaggio Museum.

Model
LX with 'Blue Peter' graphics and colors
Vespa Nespolo

The Vespa GT 300 customised in 2010 by Turin artist Ugo Nespolo for the exhibition La Vespa e il Cinema, organised by the Piaggio Foundation in cooperation with the Multimedia Cinema Centre. In addition to the scooter shown here, a second model can be seen at the artist’s studio in Turin.

Realized by
Ugo Nespolo
Vespa Venice

After a long personal research and studies on the use of acrylic paints and glitters, Luca used his art and imagination to handcraft elaborate embossed artworks. Created in September 2010, the Vespa Venice was on exhibit at the 54th Biennale di Venezia (Venice Art Biennial), and has been on display at the Piaggio Museum since July 2012.

“Seeing my work exhibited in the Piaggio Museum” – said the artist – “is another great dream that has come true. Basically my passion for motor vehicles and for color brought me to work on an iconic piece of Italian history, the Vespa. It only feels right that, so many years later, my Vespa Venice with a touch of renewed originality, returns home.”

Realized by
Luca Moretto
Technique
Handmade, acrylic paints
150 PX 150° Unità d’Italia

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italian unification, in 2011 the Piaggio Group produced a limited edition of Vespa PX 150 scooters, one of the most representative models in the Vespa range, and also the longest marketed and best-selling Vespa ever, with more than 3,000,000 scooters sold around the world. The Vespa PX 150 Anniversario Unità d’Italia, in white adorned with tricolour decorations, came with a standard spare wheel, housed, in traditional Vespa Style, under the left side panel. The technical characteristics that decreed the success of the Vespa PX were maintained: a four-speed manual gear shift on the handlebar, an absolute “must” for true believers, the legendary robust steel frame and the reliability of a simple, indestructible engine, together with an unmistakeable and timeless design.

Engine
-
Bore
57,8 mm
Stroke
57 mm
Displacement
149 cc
Suspensions
-
Brakes
front disc, rear drum
Tyres
3,50x10"
150 PX tricolore

A prototype designed by the Piaggio Style Centre as the only model for the 150th anniversary celebrations of Italian unification.

Engine
-
Bore
57,8 mm
Stroke
57 mm
Displacement
149 cc
Suspensions
-
Brakes
front disc, rear drum
Tyres
3,50x10"
Vespa 150 PX Nastri d’Argento

In Taormina, the Vespa was a star player at the 2011 edition of the Nastri d’Argento film awards, one of the most important events in Italian cinema: the top names in Italian cinema rode a “fleet” of Vespa PX 150 scooters, recreating the atmosphere of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. The PX in the Museum is one of those scooters, complete with the event logo and the signatures of the actors who were in Taormina.

Graphics
silver ribbons and italian actors signatures
Ape 50 Viaggio nella fantasia

The Ape 50 Viaggio nella fantasia was decorated by artist Giuliano Ghelli (1944-2014) for the exhibition Giuliano Ghelli La fabbrica della fantasia, hosted by the Piaggio Museum from 28 May to 16 July 2011 and subsequently taken into the Museum’s permanent collection.

Realized by
Giuliano Ghelli
Ekovespa Project by Gianni Depaoli

Ekovespa Project by Gianni Depaoli represents the imaginary journey of a Vespa Piaggio in the world. the fish skin that covers it, identifies the multi-ethnicity of the legendary brand. this work of art is part of the Organic Trash Art project, which values the organic waste, using it to create works that touch on themes of eco-sustainability, biodiversity.

Realized by
Gianni Depaoli
Method
mixed
Body
Vespa
Salmon
150 kg
Rockfish
29 kg
Materials
resin and wood
Vespa Talani

This Vespa PX was decorated by Tuscan artist Giampaolo Talani for his exhibition Bottega Talani. Un viaggio nell’affresco, hosted by the Piaggio Museum from 1 June to 28 July 2012. On the frame of the Vespa, a means of transport that has acquired “legendary” status, Talani reproduced symbols of one of the recurring themes of his work, travel, “a swarm of flying suitcases, roses and umbrellas; glimpses of sea with unlikely red buoys and whales gliding slowly along the horizon.”

Realized by
Giampaolo Talani
Vespa Hassoun

For Il Popolo Vuole, an exhibition of the work of Lebanese artist Ali Hassoun at the Piaggio Museum in June 2013, the artist decided to paint a Vespa LX with splendid images from his pictures.

Realized by
Ali Hassoun
Tecnique
Hand painted
Vespa 50 Special Mickey Mouse

Vespa 50 special wholly hand painted by Germana Triani fo 6sensi Group

Realized by
Germana Triani
Tecnique
hand painted
Vespa Primavera Pop Vespa

Pop Vespa is an interpretation of the new Vespa Primavera – launched in 2013 – created by Maddalena Carrai, a young artist from Livorno, who decorated the scooter “live” at the Piaggio Museum, in front of visitors, in the spring of 2014. The Vespa was presented to the public with a musical event on 21 June the same year. Maddalena Carrai is a graphic design student at the Fine Arts Academy in Florence, where she follows Andrea Mi’s multimedia language courses. After seeing some of Maddalena’s designs, pop star Lady Gaga asked her to produce graphics to «decorate» the fan village that goes with her on her tour.

Realized by
Maddalena Carrai
Tecnique
hand painted
Vespa Dolce Vita

Project by Paola Navone for LOCAL ICONS Greetings from Rome exhibition, Alcantara – MAXXI 2015

A Vespa PX 125 is dressed up in white, red and green Alcantara® material. Three colors typical of Italy’s tricolour through an original interpretation of the saddle and the white Alcantara polka-dots all over the bodywork.

Project by
Paola Navona