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Friday, April 26, 2019

This is not a Vespa scooter but a car

So far, if we hear the name Vespa, then what comes to mind is a classic two-wheeled scooter with a cute rear, but there are still many who do not know that actually Piaggio, a renowned scooter manufacturer from Italy once produced a mini four-wheeled vehicles (which is common called a micro car or city car) by using the same brand as the scooter product, ie the Vespa in 1957 and marketed in the period between 1959 and 1961.
Piaggio micro car named Vespa 400. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2KYt0ZP)
This tiny car figure is known as the Vespa 400, and is produced by a French automotive manufacturer called ACMA (Ateliers de Constructions de Motos et Accessoires) with a design patent from Piaggio Italia. This French manufacturer is also known to have produced a military version of the Vespa which was named the Vespa 150 TAP or The Bazooka Vespa in the early 1950s. These Vespa 400 has two variants, namely Lusso and Turismo.

Drawer that serves as a place to put the battery on the front. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2KYt0ZP)
This tiny car is armed with an air-cooled two-cylinder 393 cc two-stroke engine. The engine's own character is square, which is a bore x stroke 63mm x 63mm and of course it has a balanced character between the top and bottom turns. Then the compression ratio is very low at only 6.4: 1 (which allows the use of fuel with low octane values ​​or below 90).

This mini car has a capacity of 4 passengers, but the rear is still too small for adults. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2KYt0ZP)
While the engine placement on the back, while for the space in the front can be used to put things. The power produced by the engine reaches 18 horsepower. And the power is then sent to move the rear wheels through a 3-speed manual transmission system. and able to deliver this car running up to speeds of 80-90 kph. Yes, that is indeed enough power for a micro car, especially in the 50s.

This 393cc capacity engine is capable of producing up to 14 horsepower of power. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2KYt0ZP)
Then the model itself still reflects the Vespa's distinctive design ie compact and simple. The uniqueness of this car is on the door hinges in the middle pillar, the direction of opening the door automatically. Unlike the usual cars that exist today. The roof also uses a canvas model that can be opened when you want to enjoy the panorama.
Rear side view of Vespa 400. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2KYt0ZP)
The interior as is usually a micro car is only available two seats at the front, and a cushion for small children to sit on the back. So ideally this car can carry 2 adult passengers and 2 small children. Physically, this micro car is wider than the Mercedes Smart which can only be carried two people inside.
There are approximately 20 thousand cars produced in the first two years and finally in 1961 the car production was stopped, while Piaggio did not disclose the reason for the production halt. But at least the micro car Vespa 400 has proven that the Italian manufacturer Piaggio is also able to produce transportation other than scooters. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | OTOSIA]
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