The Piaggio Group reported a 7.3% decrease in net sales and a 9.0% decrease in net profit for 2012, thanks in large part to a sharp decline in demand in Europe including an all-time low for motorcycle sales in Italy. Piaggio reported net sales of 1.406 billion euros (US$1.842 billion) in 2012, down from 1.516 […]
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.