Post WWII, Italy’s economy was devastated. In a bid to get the country mobile again, and suffering a ban on his aviation business, Enrico Piaggio saw an opportunity in cheap, lightweight transportation. He instructed his chief designer Corradino d’Ascanio to design a scooter. d’Ascanio’s aviation background meant that he was well versed in techniques of stressed-skin construction, and these were deployed in creating the Vespa’s monocoque chassis, a revolutionary development at the time. Millions have been produced since 1946 and countless different versions have come and gone.
Alternative outlets were sought for the marketing of the hugely successful and eminently stylish scooter, including the Sears catalogue in the U.S. Produced by the Italian firm and re-badged as the Sears Allstate, the scooter was sold for $350.
The 125cc Allstate on offer here, was part of a very substantial Northern California collection, and meticulously restored in-house. Exquisitely presented, the restoration has held up exceptionally well. On static display for a few years, the bike will need the usual re-commissioning before returning to safe road use.