Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Sei Giorni Vespas

Here is a nice little book. I picked it up at the Padova fair, although it was released in 2001 by CLD libri. The authors are Vespa collector and historian Giorgio Notari and original Sei Giorni "pilota" Giuseppe Cau.
The story is about the competition Vespas from the late 40's and early 50's. Mostly it deals with the 26th Sei Giorni (Six Days) Internazionale regularity trial in 1951. This was the first time Piaggio officially participated in a competition.
Ten works Vespas participated in the 125 cc class, and they obtained nine gold medals!
Lot's of fantastic pictures from the event, pictures of the rider's clothes, helmets, tools etc.
Hrm, only in italian so if you don't speak the language, the pictures has to tell the story. And they do!
Especially the presentation of four sports Vespas. Freshly taken studio pictures shows the details of a Vespa Sport 1951, the Vespa Sport "ufficiale Piaggio" 1951 (for Sei Giorni), the Vespa Sport I serie 1952 and the Vespa Sport Serie II 1953.
The three latter could reach 95 km/h, still from 125 cc, compared to the 65 km/h for the standard models. The output increased from 4,5-5 hp to 7 hp. The body was reinforced, the front shield narrowed and the engine side cowl enlarged. The front suspension was strengthened and the fuel tank enlarged to the capacity of 11 litres. The 23 mm carburettor sat directly on the cylinder and the clutch was reinforced to name a few alterations from stock Vespas.
The picture below was taken by me when I visited the Piaggio museum in 2010. The "ufficiale Piaggo" has the number 94, that Giuseppe Cau used to have. But I can't remember if it actually is his Vespa.

Vespa Sport "ufficiale Piaggio" sits at the museum in Pontedera.

The significant head lamp à la submarine...

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