By Dave Turner
Vespa 1959 – 65
In the late 1950s, the staple Vespas were the 125cc models, the updated narrow slimline body complete with enclosed handlebars arrived in Italy in 1957, but was not sold in the UK until April 1959. This was the 152L2 in the UK and subsequently became a Mk11 version when a dual seat and parking lights became standard. Later versions were 232L2 in the UK and housed the spare wheel under the left side cover and featured 4 speeds. The same machine as the 125 had been enjoying the slightly detuned 150cc engine from the GS and called the Clubman but then got the slimline body and became the Sportique in the UK, the latter having both Grande Luxe and Supreme variants that boasted a trapezoid headlamp, spare wheel and a few bits of fancy brightwork. a Grand Tourer version of the Sportique featured both front and rear carrier, the latter carrying the spare wheel. A further development was the Sprint and subsequent Sprint Veloce that ran from 1965 to 1979 between them.
Top Line 150GS received a few tweaks for 1959 to the headlamp, seat and wheels but gave way to a new 160GS in 1962 with the bigger engine, slimmer bodywork and spare wheel inside the left side cowling. This subsequently became a Mk11 having the luggage compartment moved from behind the seat to the front apron. The Super Sport 180 replaced the 160 for four years from 1964 and this featured a development of the Grande Luxe body including the trapezoidal headlight. Dating these various changes depends on the relevant country in which the particular machine was marketed.
|New Ray||China||125 152L2||1:32||diecast|
|Edicola||China||045||125 VN B4||1:18||diecast|
|New Ray||China||57553||125 Primavera||1:12||diecast|
Pyro 1:16 plastic kit from USA : M 156-100, 1962 160GS
Maisto 1:18 diecast from China: 4344, 1962 160GS
BTS 1:32 metal from UK: 1962 160GS
The illustration below is of a Circuito which was written about in part one of these Vespa articles but which was not available at the time the article was written to photograph.
Maisto 1:18 diecast from China: 5081, 1050 Circuito,
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