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Rabu, 09 Juli 2008



Stylish and unmistakably Vespa, exceptionally comfortable to ride with low-environmental-impact engines and disk brakes, the new-generation ET models are now also sold in numerous "Vespa Boutiques" in the US (over 60 from California to Florida and from Hawaii to New York, with the latest two boutiques in SoHo and Queens).

Having returned to the US in 2000 after exiting the market in 1985 because of new emissions legislation that targeted two stroke engines, the Vespa was an immediate success all over again, and has achieved a market share of 20 per cent of the small (40,000 units a year) but growing scooter sector. 6,000 Vespas were sold in the first year, 2001, and over 7,000 in 2002.

But the Vespa isn't just a market phenomenon. It forms part of social history. In the "Dolce Vita" years the Vespa became a synonym for scooter, foreign reporters described Italy as "the country of the Vespa" and the Vespa's role in social history, not just in Italy but abroad, can be seen from its presence in hundreds of films. And it's a story that continues to be told today.

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in "Roman Holiday " were only the first of a long series of international actors and actresses to be seen on the world's most famous scooter in a filmography that goes from "Quadrophenia" to "American Graffiti", from "The Talented Mr. Ripley" to "102 Dalmatians", not to mention "Dear Diary ".

In photo shoots, films and on the set, the Vespa has been a "travel companion" for names like Raquel Welch, Ursula Andress, Geraldine Chaplin, Joan Collins, Jayne Mansfield, Virna Lisi, Milla Jovovich, Marcello Mastroianni, Charlton Heston, John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Gary Cooper, Anthony Perkins, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Nanni Moretti, Sting, Antonio Banderas, Matt Damon, GĂ©rard Depardieu, Jude Law, Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson.



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