The Vespa in Miniature – Part 3

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.

 

1959
New Ray China 125 152L2 1:32 diecast
1960
New Ray China 125 1:32 diecast
GM 150 1:18
1961
Maisto China 5085 150GS Messerschmitt 1:18 diecast
Maisto China 150GS 1:18 diecast
1962
Maisto China 4344 160GS 1:18 diecast
Edicola China 045 125 VN B4 1:18 diecast
Edicola China AC022 160GS 1:18 diecast
Pyro USA M156-100 160GS 1:16 plastic kit
BTS UK 160GS 1:32 metal
1964
Maisto China 39540 180SS 1:18 diecast
New Ray China 180SS 1:32 diecast
1965
New Ray China 57553 125 Primavera 1:12 diecast
Edicola China AC019 125 Nuova 1:18 diecast
Edicola China AC028 150 Super 1:18 diecast
Edicola China AC044 150 Sprint 1:18 diecast
Edicola China AC047 125 Super 1:18 diecast
Edicola China AC011 180SS 1:18 diecast
Maisto China 5084 150 Super 1:18 diecast
Maisto China 4341 125 Nuova 1:18 diecast

Illustrations

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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