Friday, December 2, 2011

Reinventing a Vespa

When people hear the Italian word Vespa, it’s instantly associated with the brand.
The word actually means ‘wasp’ and was used by Enrico Piaggio for his scooters when they first appeared in 1942, mainly because of their appearance and the buzzing noise that was produced by the humble two stroke engines. Tougher emission laws and the push to “go green” have made it increasingly difficult for owners to maintain their retro rides on the roads of today. Instead of sending rusty Vespa’s to the trash pile, I have found a more creative solution: turn the Italian icons into functional pieces of designer furniture!

The donor for my project was a 1968 Vespa sprint that was beyond restoration, making it the perfect candidate. I feel that this was a more honourable fate than the scrap metal yard.
BEFORE: Ready to go to the Vespa cemetery, until I rescued it.
I have tried to retain the traditional characteristics by converting the back half into a functional work station, complete with adjustable lap top stand. My aim was to deliver the feeling of riding a Vespa without the helmet hair. Anyone want to take it for a spin?
AFTER: Study desk / Laptop stand.

AFTER: Study desk / Laptop stand.

AFTER: Study desk / Laptop stand.


Anonymous said...

stumbled over your thread at awesome work mate.

Elena said...

love it

Sue said...

Sad to see another Vespa has bitten the dust. Not sure it was past restoration (you should see some of the projects that my husband and son work on!!). But if the alternative was the scrap yard, then I guess you have saved it and made good use out of it!

Reinventing Wheels said...

Hi Marco and Elena, thanks for the compliments, if my designs bring people joy then that makes it all worth it.
I appreciate the feedback. It had lived a tough life, there was a really nasty crack in the chassis that had been welded up multiple times and was severely unsafe. It didn’t pass registration despite the owner trying a fair few different places. The rust had attacked it and the engine had been sold. So it would have taken someone a LOT of time, money and effort to get this veteran Vespa on the road again. Like I said in my post, I really did save this old timer from the scrap heap and I put my blood, sweat and gears into repairing the body properly and reviving it into the pieces you see today.
I would love to see some of your husband and sons work, feel free to send me an email at

Amy Lynn said...

Love this!!! I dumped over and damaged my Vino 125 last summer. While the insurance company did cover the repairs, I told the local Yamaha place I wanted my old parts. I turned the front fender (just scratched in a couple of places) into a hanging lamp for above my sewing machine. I still have the front apron, and I hope to eventually turn it into some kind of decorative shelf.

Reinventing Wheels said...

I am glad you like it Amy. Wow that sound pretty cool, I would love to see some photos.