Introduced in 1957 the VESPA 400 was an innovative solution to the needs for compact and economical transportation in Europe’s micro car marketplace.
The Vespa 400 was very sophisticated and well-engineered compared to the other microcars available, such as the BMW Isetta, and initial sales were good. Piaggio addressed many needed improvements after launch and the 1959 model features all of the upgrades including automatic oil injection and opening door vent windows. Unfortunately for Piaggio, the European economy had improved making mini cars such as the Fiat 500 and BMC Morris Mini more popular than microcars in the marketplace. The microcar fad ended more quickly than expected, and the 400 was in production only until 1961.
It remains one of the most interesting of the microcars and a very rare collectable today.