The rod model Vespas are very special scooters. In the early years, Piaggio was still refining the design on the Vespas. One of the hallmarks of the very early scooters was the unique shift linkage they employed. The problem was how to create a gear shift on the handlebars, unlike a motorcycle foot shift. In so doing, Piaggio had to translate the rotary motion in the handlebar to a horizontal axis at the motor… and had to get that motion from a handlebar that was also turning with the front fork. They came up with a fairly complicated and elegant rod linkage system that ran external to the scooter’s frame. After a few years, they abandoned that system in favor of simple cables running internally in the frame. This is one of the last of the early scooters with the rod linkage system. Needless to say, these rod models are extremely rare. They are even more rare in the U.S., where the first Vespa sold would not hit our shores for two years after this one left the assembly line. A favorite of collectors, the rod models are certainly fascinating and beautiful. This one was restored in Italy before we acquired it, and we think it looks fantastic. It was certified by the Italian historic vehicle register, and still retains the certification plaque (which can be easily removed). This is a significant scooter for the serious collector. These are not easy to find, even in Italy, and we don’t know when we will find another in this condition. Get it while you can!