The Vespa in Miniature – The later years

By Dave Turner

Photographs of some Vespa models found at the end of the article.

Still going strong in the 21st Century there has been quite a variety of Vespa machines during the past 20 years or so.

The ET Series came out in 1996 and returned to a rounded style that was heavier and higher than preceding models while engine sizes were 50cc, 125cc and 150cc. ET 2 was the 2 stroke version while the ET 4 was a 4 stroke with the intention of meeting stricter emissions regulations. When the latter was introduced to the US market in 2001 a new Leader 4 stroke motor was fitted.

In 2003 a new large Vespa returned to the market, the GT Series came in 200, 250 and eventually 300cc sizes. featuring a one-piece frame and body. Subsequent variations included the GTS and GTV in 2006, the latter a luxury machine with headlamp mounted on the front fender – like the original Vespa. The GTS 300 in 2009 featured the largest engine in a Vespa so far.

The ET series was upgraded into the LX range for 2006 and styled to resemble the GT. LX is the Roman numerals for 60, celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Vespa. These featured a square headlight but no glovebox and a single seat. For 2010 fuel injection arrived and the suffix “ie’ indicated a machine so fitted while a sport version 50 or 150cc was available from 2013.

A small frame Vespa appeared again in 2014 and called – once again – Primavera, these came in 50, 125 or 150cc engine sizes while Sprint versions were also included.

In 2013 Vespa celebrated its first 1946 model with the completely new 946. This was intended to be produced in very limited numbers as it was “price no object” being around double the average price of a contemporary scooter. It came in both 125 and 150cc 4 stroke versions.

By 2016 both anti-lock braking systems and traction control had been added to the technical innovations to be found on the various Vespa products.

Despite having noted numerous model Vespas from their later years hardly any have been acquired in order to illustrate. Most can be found on the internet. However, several miniatures that appear to be inspired by the traditional Vespa character but too loosely to identify exactly have been sneaked in.

Model Listing – Vespa 1996 onwards

1996
Maisto China 4346 125 ET4 99mm 1:18 diecast
New Ray China 6047 125 ET4 1:32 diecast
Edicola China AC 024 125 ET4 99mm 1:18 diecast
1999
Maisto China 39540 150 PX 1:18 diecast
Edicola China AC 041 150 PX 1:18 diecast
2003
Maisto China 03131 GT 1:18 diecast
Maisto China 3136 ET 4 1:18 diecast
Maisto China 42133 Granturismo 1:18 diecast
Edicola China AC 008 GT Granturismo 1:18 diecast
2005
Edicola China AC 036 LX 125  1:18 diecast
Maisto China 5092 LX 125  1:18 diecast
Maisto China 31540 GT 200  1:18 diecast
2009
New Ray China 57243 GTS 300 1:12 diecast
New Ray China 20127 200E 1:12 diecast
New Ray China 42213 200E 1:12 diecast
2013
New Ray China 57613 946 1:12 diecast

Illustrations

Maisto 1:18 diecast from China: 4346 ET 4

 

Hollow ceramic model around 1:12 scale that could be meant to be a 1961 Sportique.

 

A set of novelty cruets loosely based on the typical 1960 Vespa in 1:18 scale, the holes are in the seats.

 


Toy plastic “Mini Scooter” featuring the Vespa shape, flywheel motor in the rear drives the twin rear wheels. Roughly 1:24 scale.

 


TTW plastic scooter with a few Vespa characteristics, pull motor on twin rear wheels, around 1:25 scale.


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