April 26, 2013, marks the 67th anniversary of the day Enrico Piaggio went to Italy’s Central Patents Office and filed his plans for “a motor cycle with a rational complex of organs and elements with body combined with the mudguards and bonnet covering all the mechanical parts” which later became the iconic Vespa scooter. Piaggio […]
Cannon-Mounted Military Vespa Up for Auction
A 1959 Vespa military scooter equipped with a cannon is being auctioned in Monaco on May 12 by Coys Auction.
Listed among a number of rare and exotic cars, the Vespa is valued at 12,000-15,000 euros (US$15,500-19,400). The scooter is a Vespa 150 TAP (“Troupes aéroportées”, or French Airborne Forces) produced by Ateliers de Construction de Motocycles et Automobiles (ACMA) under license from Vespa.
The military scooter is equipped with a U.S.-produced M20 75mm rifle which sits on the saddle and protrudes through the front leg shield. The M20 is a recoilless rifle, firing anti-armor ammunition while venting propellant gasses out the rear to reduce the recoil. Still, stabilizers were used to hold the scooter steady when firing.
This particular model had been stored in a military camp at Messina on the Italian island of Sicily. Only 800 units were believed to have been produced between 1956 and 1959, at a price of about $500 each.