Vespa is still one of the symbols of the Italian after war rebirth, it has been immortalized in cult movies such as “Roman Holiday” ridden by Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, and it has become a symbol of Made in Italy bewitching millions of people around the world.
On Catawiki up to March it is possible to win a unique Vespa, the specimen, nicknamed “No. 3”, is the one circulating worldwide with the lower number chassis number.
“No. 3” is actually the third Vespa produced and it is currently housed in a showroom located near Reggio Emilia. It was part of the first production batch of 60 pieces of the so-called project MP6 (Piaggio Motorcycle No. 6), produced in the Piaggio plant in Pontedera, near Pisa, in 1946. The MP6 project saw the development of what was to all effects the first real Vespa and, for this reason it is extremely precious. After the first 60 pieces the production was industrialized and the production of steel parts of the chassis were commissioned to external suppliers, including Alfa Romeo and in the following two years 15,000 pieces were produced.
Only three pieces of the first MP6 production batch – known as “Series 0” – survived and the oldest one of them is “No. 3”, which bears chassis No. 1003. “Series 0” Vespa were totally handcrafted products, from the bending of the cuttings to the welding of the steel sheets. The chassis number, starting from No. 1001, were embossed on various areas of the vehicle, because the assembler had to manually adapt every single piece on each chassis. The frame number appears on the chassis, on the front area under the saddle, on the hoods, on the profiles of the aluminum footrests, and even on the muffler.
Ilona Catani Scarlett