Known for their tough spirit and never-give-in attitude, the second-generation company proprietor Enrico Piaggio was inspired by the idea of a two-wheeled, low-cost vehicle that would be easily affordable and dependable. Something idea for a financially skimped Italians who still needed to move around. Legend has it that Enrico was enthused by staff members, who had difficulty getting back and forth through the Piaggio facility due to a huge segment of it being destroyed. However, this same myth about Vespa is told about its competitor Lambretta as well, therefore, the authenticity of the story is dubious.
All the same, Piaggio contacted an aircraft engineer by the name of Corradino D’Ascanio to create a design. Undisturbed by any fixed idea of what a scooter or motorcycle should look like and helped by his expertise designing powerful lightweight aircraft frameworks, D’Ascanio produced a prototype from unused parts that satisfied all of Enrico Piaggo’s requirements for a new two-wheel vehicle. The only thing missing was a name. Due to the shape and sound of the engine, Enrico came up with the word “Wasp,” and of course, the Italian word for wasp, is “vespa.”