Oldest Vespa in the world to go under the hammer

The world's oldest Vespa scooter is up for auction, and could be sold for as much as £280,000.

Listed on auction website Catawiki, the 1946 scooter is prototype number three from the '0 series', of which manufacturer Piaggio built just 60 production examples.
As Prototype 1 and 2 no longer exist, Prototype 3 can now lay claim to the title of "world's oldest Vespa".

At the time of writing, bidding has exceeded £140,000, and the auction doesn't close until March 28.

Auctioneers Davide Marelli and John Searle have estimated that the historic scooter will sell for between £217,030 and £282,130 when bidding eventually stops.

Marelli, a Vespa expert at Catawiki, told the Express: "The Vespa brand is known all around the world and there are many collectors acquiring antique Vespas.

"We hope this Vespa will end up in the hands of a collector or in a museum that will protect this piece of motor history for future generation."

The scooter is listed as being in "very good" condition, with its Italian documents all in order.

It was built by hand, with its steel panels beaten into shape on wooden "masks". Its paint has all been stripped off, while the exposed steel has been protected with clear coat.

Powering the 1946 scooter is a single cylinder 98cc two-stroke engine that is coupled with a three-speed gearbox.

Piaggo launched the orginal Vespa following the end of the Second World War, after identifying a need for a low-cost form of transport for Italians.

Less than 10 years after its launch, more than 1 million Vespas had rolled of the production line in Pisa.

Oldest Vespa in the world to go under the hammer
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