Milan, Italy - Vespa, the world-famous scooter synonymous with youth and style, has just celebrated its 60th birthday with the release of three new models and the announcement of plans for a Vespa museum.
Its maker, Piaggio Group, announced the museum project during a ceremony at its plant near Pisa. The Vespa became as much a fashion statement as a means of getting around after its birth in 1946.
It will open in 2007 to house Piaggio's entire collection of the two-wheeler, including the first model, the Vespa 98, which putted along at a mere 60km/h.
It was an affordable and sturdy means of transport for Italians recovering from the ravages of the Second World War but was immortalised in 1953 by carryig Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck around the eternal city in the film "Roman Holiday".
The Vespa quickly became an international phenomenon, with lovers of its design and practicality forming clubs and becoming collectors.