Skip to main content

1958 Vespa 400 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Roadster
Chassis Num: 009575
 
Sold for $41,250 at 2011 RM Auctions.
This vehicle is a Vespa 400 Jolly and was produced by ACMA (Ateliers de Constructions de Motos et Accessoires) in Fourchambault, France from 1957 to 1961 to the designs of the Italian Piaggio company. There were two versions available, including the 'Lusso' and 'Turismo.' This example is unique - in the spring of 2010, it was converted by Microcarlot into a one-of-a-kind Vespa Jolly. It has wicker seats and a picnic blanket top. These types of cars were catered to the rich and famous, often used as yacht tenders to cruise along the beaches.

Between the wicker seats is the handbrake, starter and choke. The instrumentation is basic and minimalistic. There is a speedometer and warning lights for low fuel, main beam, dynamo charging and turn-indicators. This car was restored in 2010.

The engine is an air-cooled, two-cylinder, 393cc engine that produces 18 horsepower. There are four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes and an independent suspension.

In 2011, the car was offered for sale at the Amelia Island auction presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $50,000 - $70,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $41,250, including buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2011
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 GMC Yukon

1982 Fiat X1/9

1978 Lancia Beta

1966 Lancia Flavia

1962 Mercedes-Benz 300d

1962 Chrysler New Yorker
For more information and related vehicles, click here

"
PAIR OF SPECTACULAR, ULTRA-LOW-MILEAGE JAGUAR E-TYPES GO ON SALE AT HEXAGON
◾Hexagon is delighted to offer for sale not one, but two perfectly preserved Series 1 Jaguar E-Types ◾Quite possibly the two lowest-mileage 4.2-litre examples in the world, Hexagon has a 1965 Roadster with 8,676 miles and a 1965 Fixed Head Coupe with just 10,513 miles ◾Offered in incredible original condition and with matching numbers, both are priced at £249,995 ◾The Series 1 E-Type is a true icon, one of Britain's greatest automotive triumphs and one of the most desirable classic cars in t...[Read more...]
PAIR OF COVETED FERRARIS LEAD SUPERLATIVE ROSTER OF EUROPEAN SPORTS CARS AT AUCTIONS AMERICA'S CALIFORNIA SALE
• Auctions America readies for its third annual California sale, July 17—18 at Santa Monica's historic Barker Hangar • Multi-day auction features diverse roster of nearly 300 quality vehicles • Well-rounded selection of European sports cars led by an iconic pair of Ferraris: a 1967 330 GTS and a 2004 Enzo • Auctions America partners with Petrolicious to host single-day vintage rally in Southern California as a prelude to the July sale • Full details and digital brochure available online a...[Read more...]
PORSCHE'S 914 HONORED AT 20TH AMELIA CONCOURS d'ELEGANCE
The 20th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance will honor the first mid-engine production Porsche, the 914 in all its variants. At first some Porsche purists lamented the Porsche 914's seemingly humble origins. They whispered the 'V-Word' . . . Volkswagen. The reality was that the 914 is a blood descendant of the seminal Gmund Porsche, the first car to wear the family name and the crest, a pure sports car designed around a Volkswagen-sourced air-cooled flat-four and a mid-engine con...[Read more...]
PACKARD'S RARE CONCEPT CARS FEATURED AT 'THE AMELIA'
'Ask the man who owns one' was Packard's slogan from the earliest days of the marque. On March 9, 2014, Packard fans visiting the 19th annual Amelia Island Concours can ask the man who owns 58 Packards. Ralph Marano, Sr., an orthodox Packard man of long standing, has been seized by one of the most dignified, delightful and elegant obsessions in the car collecting hobby. Ralph really likes Packard show cars. He likes them so much that he has collected all ten. Marano's Packard ...[Read more...]
Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows Celebrate Silver Anniversary Le Mans Victory At 2014 Amelia Island Concours D'elegance
From their glory days in the 1930s, the all-conquering racers from Mercedes-Benz were known with affection, respect and, occasionally, fear, as the 'Silver Arrows'. The nickname has its roots in a clever solution to a weight restriction mandated by the grand prix rule book. During the 1930s, to save weight and meet the international regulation requiring grand prix cars to race under the maximum weight of 750 Kilograms (1650 lb.), Mercedes-Benz removed Germany's traditional racing white pain...[Read more...]

400

1959 400 Image Right
© 1998-2016. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.