As well as competing directly from the factory with specially prepared machines, the growing popularity of the Vespa meant many owners, fans and local dealers wanted to compete in some form of motor sport on these once humble scooters. Piaggio, having their collective heads screwed on, decided this was a great idea and later produced a very limited production run of special scooters for this very task.
Piaggio’s thinking made sense; with local riders taking part in events it promoted the Vespa brand for them,
so if the factory supplied some higher-spec competition models for these riders to use, hopefully they’d win more often than their rivals.
The two images above show the original factory team of Vespa ‘Sei Giorni’ scooters testing on the Italian racing circuit at Monza at the end of the International Six Days Trial after which the later production scooters were named. I found these photographs in an old Vespa Club d’Italia diary and my translation skills suggest they were taking part in a time trial at there circuit.
Sei Giorni translates as ‘six days’ and the scooters were named as such because they competed in the on and off-road ISDT event, popular in Italy at that time in which the Vespas won nine gold awards in 1951.
The Sei Giorni Vespas featured trimmed legshields, the option of 8″ or larger 10″ wheels, extended fuel tanks, more powerful engines and a number of other features. Some of these features apparently evolved over the next couple of years during the Vespa ‘Sei Giorni’ Racer’s very short production run. Up to 300 are thought to have been produced, based on the originals used by the factory team, making this Vespa one of the most sought after by enthusiasts today.
The final image here was taken in 1953 and shows the arrival in Brescia of rider Mauro Nesti on a Vespa Sei Giorni after completing a 1000 kilometres stage of the Six Days Trial. This is believed to be one of the later ‘production’ Vespa Racers produced by Piaggio and labelled ‘Sei Giorni’. Mauro is pictured with Vespa Club d’Italia President Renato Tassinari, and once again thanks to the club for the images.