Vespa is one of the scooter brands which once commanded a huge following around the globe. A look back at the history of Vespa reveals some surprising models, for instance the Vespa 150 TAP which was a battle-ready Vespa model, meant to be dropped by a parachute.
The sheer looks of this model hint that this is probably the most bad-ass model created by any Vespa manufacturer. Also called ‘Troupes Aéro Portées‘, this model packed light weight, better speed, quick maneuverability and significantly low fuel consumption. It could be dropped into the war-zone during a conflict using a parachute.
The notion of creating a military Vespa first surfaced sometime around 1949. An Italian Vespa factory created Vespa Force Armate, a prototype of a military Vespa which featured the ability to carry a spare wheel, low fuel consumption and better speeds.
Although the NATO forces expressed significant interest in this machine and witnessed quite a few trials of the military Vespa, the deal could not be finalized and the model was eventually abandoned without coming into full production. Later on, French military decided to get better transportation modes for its airborne soldiers, which is when the need for a military Vespa rose again.
This time, French Vespa licensee ACMA was able to win the bid by presenting Vespa 150 TAP. The model packed a 150-cc two-stroke engine and an M20 light anti-armor cannon. The only drawback in this model was that it couldn’t go beyond a top speed of 40 mph, given its heavy baggage of ammunition. Vespa 150 TAP proved quite effective in enabling the airborne soldiers to instantly shift to quite movement as soon as they landed.