Right now Catawiki, an online auction platform is selling the oldest existing Vespa to date. This Vespa scooter with frame number 1003 is the oldest of only three remaining of the Series 0. It was assembled by hand before Piaggio started the industrialisation of the Vespa Scooter. Evidently it is estimated to bring some big bucks: €250,000 – €325,000.
History of the Series 0
In 1946, sold a year after the end of World War II, the first Vespa was made, the 98cc model. During the two years that he was on the market from 1946 to 1948, about 15,000 copies were made. The first 60 are known as the Series 0. The Series 0-scooters are handmade products of bent, cut and welded sheet metal. The chassis number, which starts in 1001, is printed in different parts of the vehicle because the factory worker had to manually assemble each part of the chassis. The number can be found on the chassis itself, on the front part of the seat, on the caps, on the base plate, and even on the damper.
After the first 60 copies the production was improved by industrialization in which the manufacture of steel parts was allocated to external suppliers, including Alfa Romeo. Today we know of the existence of only three Vespa scooters in the series 0. The oldest, chassis number 1003 (the third Vespa was produced) is now offered for sale at Catawiki.
Specifications of the oldest Vespa
Piaggio – Vespa 98 cc – Serie 0 – 1946
Frame No.: 1003
This is the oldest Vespa in the world.
It belongs to the “0 series” also known as “pre-series” including approximately 60 units.
Virtually built by hand,beating the steel plates on wooden masks.
Completely hand soldered
A tutorial restoration has been performed in order to show the construction technique, used in the “0 series”.
The paint has been stripped off (no sandblasting) and the plate has been protected with clear coat.
This is the earliest example of the Piaggio masterpiece, as created by Corradino d’Ascanio.
Single cylinder 98 cc 2-stroke engine with forced air cooling – 3-speed gearbox
In working condition
Italian documents in order
Frame no.: 1003
Engine no.: 014
The lot didn’t meet the reserve price € 182,499 wasn’t enough for the seller