Skip to main content

1960 Vespa 400 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Convertible
 
Designed by Piaggio Company in Italy, best known for their Vespa scooters, the 400 was manufactured in Fauchambault, France by Ateliers DeConstruction De Motorcycles Et Automobiles. Approximately 1600 cars were imported to the US. This Vespa was imported through the Port of Houston and sold by a Colorado scooter dealer. The price was $1,080. Speeding rating: 55 mph.

The engine is a 2-cylinder 2-cycle Air-cooled 25 cubic-inch 393 cc, with 18 horsepower. The two-stroke engine differs from a four-stroke engine by completing the same four processes (intake, compression, combustion, exhaust) in only two strokes of a piston verse four. The beginning of the compression stroke and the end of the combustion stroke perform the intake and exhaust functions.
Convertible
Chassis Num: 196019150
 
Sold for $23,100 at 2012 Barrett-Jackson.
This Vespa 400 Semi-Convertible features a 392cc two-cylinder, two stroke engine with a three-speed manual transmission. It is finished in yellow paint with a black interior. There are sliding windows, suicide doors and retractable roof. Period advertisements stated the car had a top speed of 55 MPH and could achieve 55 MPG.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2012
The Italian based company Vespa is legendary for their motorscooters. However, the French-built microcar produced from 1957 though 1961, is far less known. Produced by Piaggio, their history dates back to 1884 where they initially produced locomotives and railway carriages. During the First World War they aided in the war effort by producing aircrafts. They produced fighter planes during World War II. When WWII came to a close, the company was nearly devastated. Their Pontedera plant had been destroyed by bombing; Italy's roads were disastrous due to the bombing and war, and the economy was suffering.

Enrico Piaggio, the son of Piaggio's founder Rinaldo Piaggio, was determined to revitalize the Piaggio business and to address Italy's need for affordable and modern transportation that could traverse the war-torn roadways. Just like Dr. Ferdinand Porsche of the time, he began designing and building a car for the masses. The result was a very small, two-seater dubbed the Vespa 400. It was labeled as a convertible though it really only had a plastic folding sunroof. It was powered by a rear-mounted, two-cylinder, air-cooled engine that displaced 24.5 cubic-inches and produced 20 horsepower. It was mated to a three-speed manual gearbox and fitted with hydraulic drum brakes in both the front and rear. It had a steel unibody construction and a fuel tank that could store five gallons. With around 60 mpg, this was more than adequate. Top speed was just under 60 mph.

The car was introduced in 1957 and was sold in several countries including the US. It was built in France though had been designed by the same individuals that produced the scooter. Production in France was a logistical decision, as the company did not want to compete with the popular Italian based Fiat 500.

The car was priced at $1,080 which made it one of the least expensive and more reasonable micro-cars of the day. Sales were relatively strong, but not enough to convince the Piaggio Company to continue past 1961. They returned their entire efforts back to the production of the motor-scooter and mopeds.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2008
Recent Vehicle Additions

2017 Audi A1 Quattro

2017 Ferrari California T

2017 Ferrari 488 GTB

2017 Nissan Navara Trek-1

2017 Ferrari GTC4Lusso

2017 Lexus CT 200h
"
KUMHO TAKES REIFEN VISITORS ‘BACK TO THE FUTURE' WITH KIA-BASED 2.5L/100KM CONCEPT CITY CAR
The innovative Coop 0.9 TDSI is powered by a 3-cylinder, 2-stroke diesel engine of minimal NO× and CO₂ emissions and optimum fuel consumption ◾It rides on Kumho KH27 ECOWING ES01 tyres especially chosen for their low rolling resistance and minimal noise ◾The 'Coop-Car 3 for free' project was officially launched at the Atlantic Hotel, Frankfurt on May 25, just metres from the Kumho Stand A40M, Hall 3, REIFEN Messe Essen Lutterworth, June 9, 2016. Complementing its previously announced new ty...[Read more...]
PORSCHE CLASSIC RADIO NAVIGATION SYSTEM NOW AVAILABLE IN THE USA AND CANADA
• True-to-style upgrade with state-of-the-art technology
Atlanta, Georgia. Porsche is responding to the growing demand for a built-in navigation device for vintage Porsche sports cars with its Porsche Classic Radio Navigation System. Following its successful market launch in Europe in February 2015, the Porsche Classic Radio Navigation System is now available in the USA and Canada. This purpose-built unit combines a style reminiscent of the original equipment radios in these car...[Read more...]
JOHN SURTEES CBE ANNOUNCES AUCTION LOTS FOR THE 2016 HENRY SURTEES FOUNDATION TEAM KARTING CHALLENGE
• Tuesday 5 July 2016 – Mercedes-Benz World Circuit, Brooklands
Team entries are shaping up well for the hotly contested Henry Surtees Foundation Team Karting Challenge, which will take place on Tuesday 5 July 2016. The event organised by John Surtees CBE, in co-operation with Brooklands Museum and Mercedes-Benz World will be staged once again at the iconic Mercedes-Benz World, Surrey and is free to spectate. Each year the Brooklands Team Challenge receives tremendous support from t...[Read more...]
THE 2016 BONHAMS LONDON TO BRIGHTON VETERAN CAR RUN WILL MARK THE 130TH BIRTHDAY OF THE WORLD'S FIRST AUTOMOBILE
The 'Benz Patent Motorwagen' took its first, faltering, steps in 1886… but the rest is history The 2016 Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run – the world's longest running motoring event – will celebrate inventor Karl Benz's 130-year old patent, granted on January 29th 1886, and the early days of German motoring when the annual pilgrimage of veteran cars makes its way to the south coast in November. The Benz Patent Motorwagen (patent number 37435) was a two-seater, three-wheele...[Read more...]
NEW TECHNICAL DETAILS OF THE NEXT GENERATION ACURA NSX REVEALED AT SAE 2015 WORLD CONGRESS AND EXHIBITION
◾New information disclosed on innovative powertrain, body and manufacturing technologies further solidifies the NSX's position as a world-class supercar ◾NSX legacy of innovative, lightweight body design for high performance is advanced with world's first automotive application of ablation casting ◾Total airflow management design strategy employed to achieve world-class supercar performance Apr 23, 2015 - DETROIT -- In advance of the market launch of the highly anticipated next gener...[Read more...]

400

Image Left 1959 400
© 1998-2017. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.