Kiwi Vespisti celebrate 70 years of Vespa
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A hardy bunchy of about 20 Vespa aficionados braved the treacherous weather in Auckland on Frida to ride their Vespas and meet with like-minded folks to celebrate 70th Anniversary the iconic Italian scooter marquey.
Meeting at Auckland’s Silo Park on the waterfront, the group of riders set out on an urban ride route (what better for riding scooters) on a pilgrimage to the 70th Anniversary celebrations hosted by local Vespa importer, Salero Holdings, at MOTAT in Western Springs.
Once at MOTAT, we found ourselves inside the incredible Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display, a fitting venue considering the aviation parts bin routes of the Vespa (the wheels of the first models came from aircraft), and despite the weather were joined by an intimate group of about 60 fellow Vespa enthusiasts.
On display alongside a set of exquisite classic Vespas were a selection of 70th anniversary models, including the flagship GTS300, the Primavera 150, and the iconic PX150 two-stroke which sadly is likely to go out of production soon due to the tough Euro4 emissions scheme that comes in next year. All come complete with a special edition colour, cool luggage, anniversary badging and embossed eco-leather seats.
“Vespa has always had a strong and loyal following in New Zealand which dates back to the 1950s. Says Salero sales manager, Michael Beckhaus.
“It’s an iconic brand which is instantly recognisable and brings a smiles to people’s faces. It was great to see a strong turnout for our 70th birthday party both of established Vespisti, (Vespa riders) and newcomers. When you buy a Vespa you are not simply buying a mode of transport, you are buying a lifestyle.”
That was the definite feeling of the event, and with all the attention the group ride got from drivers, from friendly waves to excited tooting of horns, to the feeling of comradery under the wings of the planes at MOTAT, it seemed everyone loves the little Italian scooters.