Scooters are a cool, cheap way to get around dense cities. But zippy and well-healed scooter enthusiasts is about to pay the price of low-end Rolls Royce for the privilege of picking up bagels on the world’s oldest Vespa.
The third Vespa ever made by Piaggio, the Italian manufacturer, is about to hit the auction block at Catawiki, an online auctioneer. The 1946 Vespa is from Piaggio’s “0 series,” which was comprised of 60 prototype scooters. Prototypes number one and two were destroyed.
“Over the years, Vespa has become the No. 1 symbol representing Italy,” Davide Marelli, Vespa expert at Catawiki, said in a statement. “The brand is known all around the world, and there are many collectors acquiring antique Vespas. We hope this Vespa will end up in the hands of a collector or in a museum that will protect this piece of Italian history for future generations.”
The hand-crafted scooter is expected to raise between $250,000 and $300,000 Euros (roughly $270,000 to $324,000).
If you think that is an extraordinary price to pay for a scooter, consider that Vespa’s cult status has helped vintage scooters appreciate over time, much like classic cars.
“Thanks to a huge fan base, old Vespa scooters tend to keep their monetary value,” says Marelli. “A Vespa scooter from the 1970s, for example, can be worth five times as much as its original retail price. The older the Vespa, the more valuable it is.”