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					                                                                                                     THE VE SPA VNA IN DETAIL
                                                                                                     by Ashley Lenton

T
         he appearance of the 125cc vna is very      crankcase and engine bearer were now a           genuinely manufactured in Britain. Many             The vna/142l2 is a textbook example of a
         close to that of a clutch of other Vespas   single unit, thus saving weight, space, and      of the body pressings were made by Pressed          successful redesign of an already successful
         (vnb, vba, vbb) that in Britain are         expense. The carburetor was now located          Steel in Birmingham, all manner of castings         product. It was lighter, cheaper to make, and
         collectively (but incorrectly) referred     directly above the cylinder, thus rendering      including all major items such as the engine        easier to work on. The current px 125/px 150
         to as “Sportiques.”                         the characteristic access hatch between          bearer were cast in the Douglas foundry.            motor is a direct descendent of this engine
                                                     the rider’s legs obsolete. The bolt-on gear      Lucas provided the electrics, Amal the              (the px 200 engine is based on the larger
But it is the 125cc vna that was the first of
                                                     selector was completely redesigned and for       carburetor and so on. The introduction of the       block of the gs 160 via the ss and the Rally).
these to be introduced in 1958, which must
                                                     the first time completely enclosed. Finally      152l2 changed all of this since Douglas had
therefore be credited with heralding a new                                                                                                                Paradoxically, it is not the most fashionable
                                                     there was a two-piece streamlined headset        no money to re-tool, despite having been
era for Vespa. After twelve years of gentle                                                                                                               Vespa to restore at the moment, people
                                                     made out of pressed steel incorporating both     bought by Westinghouse and thus taken out
evolution, the Piaggio design team had                                                                                                                    tending to want either the “Roman Holiday”
                                                     the speedometer and the headlight. The latter    of receivership. The new model (and the
gone through every element of the Vespa                                                                                                                   look of the earlier 125cc models or the
                                                     finally moved from the fender on the Piaggio     subsequent Sportique) was consequently
design with a fine tooth comb. The result                                                                                                                 performance and styling of the gs, ss, etc.
                                                     built 125cc models, though of course those       more assembled than manufactured, and used
was a scooter that was lighter slimmer, less                                                                                                              But none of this can detract from the fact
                                                     made in Britain and France had them on the       a Dell’Orto carburetor and Siem electrics
complicated and cheaper to make than its                                                                                                                  that the vna (and its vnb successor) was
                                                     handlebars for years.                            just like the Italian original. The only real
predecessor. It was also much easier to work                                                                                                              hugely successful in its own time, both in
                                                                                                      differences were the option of a German-
on and maintain,                                     Despite the practicality of the headset                                                              terms of sales and as a design exercise.
                                                                                                      made dual seat and a wider range of colors.
                                                     (changing cables suddenly became a pleasure)
Although the front of the frame was broadly                                                           Initially these comprised Regal Red, August
similar to what had gone before, the rear was
                                                     this was the one feature that did not endure
                                                                                                      Blue, Coral Cream, and Minerva Grey. Later
                                                                                                                                                                      vna Production
                                                     on subsequent Vespas until being revived on
made in two halves with a flattened top that                                                          on Lilac and a very dark blue were added.                     vna1 01001 - vna1 068031
                                                     the p range in 1977. Speedometers were still
was clearly designed to have a dual seat fitted                                                                                                                           (67,031 units)
                                                     not compulsory in Italy, so it was possible      The 152l2 was introduced in April, 1958, a
to it as standard. Ironically such a seat was
                                                     to buy this model with a headset that did not    whole year after the vna came out in Italy.                   vna2 68032 - vna2 116431
normally fitted to this model only for some
                                                     incorporate one.                                 During the summer of 1958 demand for                               (48,400 units)
export markets. All large-size Vespa frames
                                                                                                      scooters in Britain reached an all time peak
up to and including the Rally 200 can be                                                                                                                                Total 115,431 units
                                                                                                      causing Douglas to supplement stocks of the
considered developments of this one.                       The 152L2 Douglas vna                      152l2 with vnas from Pontedera. The closeness       This article originally appeared in the Veteran
Changes in the engine unit were equally              Douglas Vespas built prior to introduction       of the specifications of the two models allowed     Vespa Club Journal. We are indebted to them
extensive. Most noticeable was that the              of the 152l2 can be considered to have been      the Italian version to also be sold as a “142l2.”   for permission to reprint it.



22	                                                                                                   AMERICAN	SCOOTERIST	#53                             VESPA	CLUB	OF	AMERICA	                            23

				
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