From The Battlefield
1956 Piaggio Vespa TAP Militare

The Vespa scooter is so commonly associated with La Dolce Vita – the Italian concept of “a sweet life” – that it was once used as the slogan of the brand. For this particular vintage Vespa, though, things have gone in a slightly different direction.

The unusual variation of the Vespa was born in 1956 specially for the TAP (troupes aéroportées) section of the French army. ACMA, the licensed assembler of Vespa in France, had the military vehicle specially prepared for parachute troops and their unique requirements. Since it was designed to be dropped out of a plane above the battlefield, the scooter was reinforced with a tubular bumper from front to rear. Not only is it equipped with auxillery two fuel tanks and a small trailer, it also sports with a 75mm USA-made cannon and six rounds of ammunition. All this gear resulted in a not-unmanageable 115 kg — roughly what your average modern four-stroke motocross bike weighs — which meant it was fairly agile in the field.

Of course, the example seen in these images has been restored and now runs realistic recreations of the weapon and ammunition. This Vespa is now fitted with the Piaggio 150cc engine and has a range of 200 km. The perfectly-restored example is now available from classic car and motorbike retailer Route de Sogno’s showroom in Reggio Emilia, Italy. For 40,000 Euros you can bring home this striking piece of history.