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
SINGER VEHICLE DESIGN CONTINUES ON PATH OF EXCLUSIVITY
Award-Winning Book Captures Singer's Impeccable Craftsmanship of Re-Imagined Porsche 911 -- 2nd Printing Extends Aspirational Ownership Within Porsche Fan-base LOS ANGELES – October 25, 2016 – Porsche aficionados looking to achieve their own air of exclusivity, albeit on a smaller budget, will be excited to learn that a second printing of Singer Vehicle Design's original One More than 10: Singer and the Porsche 911 table top book is now available, in plenty of time for the upc...[Read more...]
Auctions America showcases evolution of the sports car at its 14th annual Fort Lauderdale sale
• Sports cars from across the decades dominate Auctions America's Fort Lauderdale sale, April 1-3 in Florida • From a classic Jaguar E-Type to a fascinating BMW M1 and a limited-production Ferrari F355 Spider, auction docket superbly illustrates the genre's progression • Multi-day auction presents more than 450 quality automobiles and select automobilia • Frequently updated list of entries available at www.auctionsamerica.com AUBURN, Indiana (February 17, 2016) – Auctions America's annu...[Read more...]
HONDA PERFORMANCE DEVELOPMENT ENGINES ON DISPLAY AT SEMA
◾Ladder of HPD engines featured, from karting to Indy car ◾Indianapolis 500-winning Honda Dallara centers display ◾B-Spec HPD Fit demonstrates range of available products 11/04/2014 - LAS VEGAS -- Today Honda Performance Development (HPD) will feature nearly a dozen racing products at the Honda booth at the 2014 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show (SEMA) in Las Vegas, illustrating the wide range of competition products and services offered by the racing subsidiary of American...[Read more...]
COMPACT, AFFORDABLE AND FUN—THE NEW 2015 HONDA PIONEER 500 SIDE-BY-SIDE
05/15/2014 - Torrance, CA With the addition of the all-new 2015 Pioneer 500™, Honda adds a heavy dose of fun to its line of side-by-sides. The Pioneer 500 carries two people to off-road adventures, is perfect for chores on the farm or a relaxed trail ride out in the country and it's packed with Honda's famous quality and durability at a suggested retail price of $8,499. 'My first drive in the Pioneer 500 was an eye-opener,' said Lee Edmunds, Manager of Motorcycle Marketing Communicati...[Read more...]
BRUCE MEYERS TO CELEBRATE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF ICONIC MEYERS MANX BY RACING IN 2014 NORRA MEXICAN 1000 RALLY
After months of preparation and with the support of an industry it helped create, Meyers Manx Inc. today proudly announced details of a new project to celebrate the car's 50th anniversary next month. It is entering company founder Bruce Meyers in next month's 2014 General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 rally. The iconic Meyers Manx dune buggy ('Old Red') was invented by Meyers in a small garage on the Balboa Peninsula of Newport Beach, California and first driven in May of 1964. The spirited and eve...[Read more...]

400

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