In a city where tank-like trucks reign supreme, this diminutive, sexy scooter has caught on with trendsetters. If you were born to be wild, here’s a crash course (ouch) on Dallas’ favorite Italian import.
What is a Vespa?
The popular scooter (whose name means “wasp” in Italian) was designed by Corradino D’Ascanio in 1946 for Piaggio, an aeronautics manufacturer. The Vespa’s success was instantaneous. By 1956, 1 million Vespas had been produced and its popularity swept Europe. With its retro curves, paint-box colors, and Italian design, Vespas were also popular in the United States and imported here until 1984, when their entry was blocked due to emission standards. Three years ago, Piaggio introduced a new U.S.-friendly model, and Vespas were back in the country. Today, a Vespa isn’t just a mode of transportation. It’s a lifestyle, offering plenty of accessories, clothing, and Vespa-related merchandise to purchase. How very Dallas.
Where to Buy a Vespa
VESPA DALLAS BOUTIQUE
West Village, 3699 McKinney Ave., Ste. 103.
FERRARI OF DALLAS
5498 La Sierra Dr.
DALLAS CLASSIC VESPA
Vespa and Scooter Clubs
Get Bent Scooter Club
The club meets every Sunday at the Dubliner (2818 Greenville Ave.), which is, ironically enough, directly across the street from the Blue Goose, where the local Harley-Davidson club meets at the same time.
Gas from the Past Scooter Gang
Created in 1998, this Cleburne-area club has a few requirements for membership: 40 or older, flatulent (charming), and an interest in chocolate malts, chili burgers, Bo Diddley, and drive-in theaters.
The Heart and Soul Scooter Club
Though in Austin, this club sponsors the annual Republic of Texas Scooter Rally every Columbus Day weekend in early October.