There’s no doubt that Vespa is the most celebrated two-wheeled vehicle of the 20th Century and beyond. This is no small feat coming from the ruins of postwar Europe and formulating a means of transportation for the populace. Nevertheless, Vespa proved to be a winner and became a trendy lifestyle statement. The maker and designer of the Vespa is a company called Piaggio, which was originally established in 1884 by Rinaldo Piaggio. However, their focus was on heavy Through two World Wars, Piaggio became a well-known and respected manufacturer of planes in Italy.
During the 1940s, the company was successful and manufactured a variety of transportation vehicles from trolleys to trucks, engines, planes, and railway cars. Sadly, World War II took its toll and economic collapse for the country shattered the main factory in Pontedera.
The Italian manufacturing industry suffered terribly under allied bombing and of those devastated were the industries suited for wartime production. As the Italian economy struggled with most of their manufacturing capabilities in despair, the Piaggio family mulled over a means of reinventing the family business. Though they were skilled at producing aircraft, the demand was considerably reduced in post-war Italy.
To reconstruct the Pontedera factories, Enrico Piaggio requested the Allies, who were in occupation of segments of the grounds of the buildings still erect, to organize transport for the machinery moved to Germany and Biella in northern Italy to be returned. This was carried out swiftly and Enrico and Armando Piaggio began the task of rebuilding. The most difficult undertaking was Enrico’s responsibility for the demolished factories of Pontedera and Pisa.
Enrico Piaggio’s choice to dive into the light mobility industry was decided due to economic assessments and sociological examination. It manifested thanks to the successful collaboration and vision of the aeronautical engineer and inventor, Corradino D’Ascanio.