It’s a year of big anniversaries for the Piaggio Group. It’s the 100th birthday of Moto Guzzi, and also the 75th birthday of the iconic Vespa scooter brand. Just like it did with Moto Guzzi, Vespa is building a series of commemorative machines to celebrate the milestone.

Vespa was founded in 1946, as Italy rebuilt itself after World War II. Then, its step-throughs were affordable, practical transportation. Now, they’re more of a prestige machine, although they still fill a practical commuter role for many riders, particularly in Europe. And while the stereotypical Vespa rider may generally go no further than the outskirts of town, these scooters were some of the original adventure bikes. Over the years, Vespas have been flogged to all the corners of the globe, even participating in the Paris-Dakar Rally in its early years.

Retro looks, but modern touches like this TFT screen. Photo: Vespa

Special-edition scooters

Vespa has 75th anniversary editions of its 50 cc and 150 cc Primavera scoots, and the 300 cc GTS. All these machines will have a metallic yellow paint, with “75” painted on the body. They have a nubuck leather saddle with grey trim; the wheels are painted grey, and Vespa put plenty of chrome detailing on the bike. including the rear rack (which comes with “a round bag whose shape replicates the typical spare wheel holder.” made of leather).

The 150 and 300 models also come with a 4.3-inch TFT colour display, allowing riders to connect their smartphone through the Vespa MIA system. There’s also a gift pack with a silk scarf and some other knick-knacks that play into the Vespa stereotype, alas. But then, the modern Vespa owner wouldn’t think about taking these scoots to Dakar, not anymore, so who cares if they want to do a little Euro cosplay?

The 50th anniversary Vespas arrive in the USA in May, priced at $4,499, $5,849 and $7,949 for the 50, 150, and 300 respectively. In Canada, they arrive in June; Canada only gets the 50 and 150 models, priced at $5,095 and $6,345 respectively.

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