In Italian "Vespa" means wasp, which couldn't be more appropriate for this bright yellow and black Vespa 400 coupe. Introduced in 1957 and engineered by Piaggio, the Italian manufacturer of the ubiquitous motor scooters which inspired a generation of La Dolce Vita, the Vespa automobile was built in Piaggio's French factory. A rear-mounted 393cc 2-stroke twin produced 20 brake horsepower and drove through a 3-speed transmission to the rear wheels. Only one body style was offered, a 2-door coupe with folding fabric sunroof, but it weighed only 850 pounds at the curb. It was only 112" long; two could fit comfortably perpendicular to the curb in an average American parking space. Good performance encouraged weight loss by its occupants -- a couple of generous sized Americans could increase a Vespa 440's mass by 50%. In other word, a Vespa 400 is small. Finished, as mentioned, in yellow with a black folding roof, black upholstery and interior trim piped in yellow, this little wasp has been cosmetically redone recently with fresh paint, upholstery and a detailed engine compartment. It is much more unusual than Isetta’s, Jolly’s, and Fiat 500s and will bring smiles and cheery waves from onlookers wherever it appears. It is ideal for running errands, weekend jaunts or as a shore tender for classic yachts. In a vehicle this small (and it is small) packaging is a challenge, so if you're looking for the battery, it's on a tray that slides out from between the headlights.
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