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    The art of fixing Vespa scooters is dying. This niche skill is a difficult one to master, especially with the increasing rarity of vintage Vespas. Our mechanic, Duy, has fixed over 1,000 Vespas! Check out this post for more info, and learn about how this scooter became legendary in Vietnam here.

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How the Vespa Became Legendary

By Lindsay Russell

Today, you can see Vespas all over the streets of Vietnam. But you might ask yourself, how did Vespa come to be the famous icon that it is today?

History-Vespa-Banner-01

It all began in 1884, when the Piaggio company in Italy started out producing timber, seaplanes, and airplanes. Due to its success, it became one of the largest airplane companies in the world! Unfortunately, that happened to not be the best thing in Italy when World War II started in 1933. The fact that Piaggio became so successful with its airplanes led to it being a target for enemies and to the destruction of its airplane factory.

piaggio vintage logo

image from mototype.com

 

After the war, in 1946, the company had to “switch gears” and came up with the stylish motorbike that we know today. The “Vespa” became so popular worldwide, that limitations were put on it.  However, Vespa still topped the market especially with the release of a movie starring Audrey Hepburn on the famous bike in the 1950’s, which sparked the beginning of the “Golden Era of Production” for Vespas (1960’s-1970’s).

audrey hepburn vespa

image from motorcycle.com

The Vespas came to Vietnam with the French, who occupied the country until 1954. When the French left, their Vespas stayed. After the Vietnam War, Vespas became very rare due to economic isolation and borders that were closed to foreign imports. In 1990, when the borders opened back up, many brand new Vespas got into the country. Many of the old Vespas from the “Golden Era” were salvaged and have survived until today!

motorbike tours vietnam

We have tracked down over 100 of these “Golden Era” Vespas, restored them, and hope to give you the Ride Of Your Life on these legendary motorbikes in Vietnam.