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World’s oldest Vespa going under the hammer

The world’s oldest Vespa has gone on sale, heading under the hammer at an online auction.

Built in 1946, the “0” series Vespa is one of approximately 60 units ever built. Created using hand-beaten metal plates on wooden frames, the Piaggio Vespa has been completely hand-soldered and stripped of its paint.

However, the bare metal has been protected with a clear coat to ensure its longevity. Powering the Vespa is a 98cc two-stroke engine with a three-speed gearbox.

The scooter is being sold in Italy through Catawiki, with its owner preferring collection at their location in Reggio. It comes with full registration papers and has matching part numbers too, making the Vespa an ideal collector’s item.

Displaying a lot of natural patina, the Vespa is accompanied by a full tutorial restoration, giving the buyer an insight into how it was assembled.

The auction will end in six days’ time, but despite interest being high the scooter has yet to approach the auctioneer’s estimate of between £217,000 and £282,000 – with bids currently sat at just over £132,000.

The Vespa was designed to be an innovative and functional mode of transport, and was revealed for the first time to the general public in a Rome golf club in April 1946. Vespa means ‘wasp’ in Italian, which reflects the scooter’s nimble handling.

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