I’ve never driven one. I fell off a motorcycle once. But living in San Francisco now, I’ve decided to abandon my car and I’m having fantasies more often of driving one of these little go-go bikes around town. I can just imagine how the Vespa will make me look even cuter with my Missoni scarf blowing in the wind.
I have always found it strange why the Vespa is perceived as cute. It is a rather utilitarian way of getting around, and with it’s ex-airplane engine, wheels and overall construction it is a direct remnant of the second world war. It was nevertheless a revolutionary thing for the time, and a far cry from such overtly technocratic things such as motorcycles. It covered up all the oily bits with an attractive sheetmetal veil, transforming its image but not its function.
This relation between fashionabilty, sales numbers, perception and WWII roots has really only been seen again in the VW Beetle.
Must be an Axis power thing, I guess.
I’m not really a car guy. I see cars as mostly wasteful in the resources they consume, specifically in manufacturing them, keeping them running-e.g. gasoline/diesel fuel. Also, not usually mentioned is the enormous resources used to allow cars to drive everywhere such as the roads, freeways, bridges and all the energy & maintenance they consume.
I think bicycles and scooters are much cooler.
While the list of design icons is extensive, there is not that much included in the way of transportation.