Her Story



Overview of the story Sold on 20. May 1948
  Sold as second hand on 28. June 1950
  Exchange on July 1951
  1955 the Vespa was put away



Her story in details

My Vespa is a Vespa 98 (4. serie).
Thanks to the "Generalstab of Truppen" in Switzerland I know the story of my Vespa, even better I was able to speak to the man who owned that Vespa 53 years ago ! He gave me some photos from 1950 with my Vespa.

That Vespa was produced for Switzerland, that's the reason why the engine has originally 125 ccm. I guess that was because of the mountains.
The Vespa was sold by the
"Gebrueder Luescher" in Niederurnen (canton Glarus).




The first owner
The first owner was a priest form St. Gallenkappel who bought her in May 1948. It's normal, that this Vespa was sold only sold in 1948, because she was produced in autumn 1947, but she has to be exported to Switzerland (in winter 1947). But in winter nobody would buy a scooter.
Anyway, the first registration was on 20th May 1948. The priest never had problems with it,
except once.
After two years the priest exchanged the Vespa for a brand-new a Vespa V11, which had shock absorbers in front and back. He was very pleased with the comfort of his new Vespa. The priest died sometimes after 1970.

The Vespa 98 went back to the Piaggiodealer in Niederurnen. He sold that model now second hand. The price was CHF. 900.-


The second owner 
On the 28. June 1950 Mr. Noser bought her. He had the license number GL 461. He saw Vespas all the time and he saved money to buy one. He wasn't very rich, but he could afford that scooter, which at time not everybody could do. Read here the complete story of Mr. Noser. In summer 1951 Mr. Noser built his own house. The bricklayer, Mr. Landolt was very pleased with the Vespa. They decided to make a deal. Mr. Noser gave the bricklayer the Vespa as a part of money for building the house. I spoke to Mr. Noser recently and he gave my some original pictures with my Vespa from 1950 !!

Mr. Noser and his wife 1950
Baker Müller and his wife 1950



The third owner 
On July 1951, Mr. Landolt registered the Vespa in his name. He also took the license number GL 461. He was the owner of a bricklayer company. At this time he had only a bicycle and the Vespa. He used the Vespa for work. At this time, the Vespa suffered at lot. He often transported  two bags of cement (one in the front and one on the back) with the Vespa. But he never had problem with her, he was only forced to
change the clutch from time to time. He used the Vespa until 1955. Than when he bought his first car and put the Vespa away. After 1955 the trace of the Vespa was lost, but it's sure, that the Vespa was never used again. Evidence for that is the good condition and more important, the two brackets for holding the license number in the front. After 1955, the use of this front number was not allowed longer and the brackets had to been removed. 


The store "Gebrueder Luescher"
The store was founded in 1936 by Werner Luescher and his brother. They sold BMW, Triumph and of course Vespas.

The store of " Gebrueder Luescher" in 1950. 

In front a Vespa 98
(maybe mine?)


Vespaclub Glarus
1950 the Vespaclub from Glarus had a lot of members. If somebody knows more about this club, please mail it to me!

Vesparide, summer 1950



 The problems of the priest
Once in summer the priest forgot to close the fuel tap. After that the Vespa didn't run. He called the mechanic Mr. Luescher who visited him the next day fixing that problem which meant screwing out the spark plug and drying the cylinder. To thank the mechanic the priest cooked potatoes and sausages. They drank also "some red wine" 





Problems with to clutch 
The early clutch used by Piaggio were made of cork pads. If you used the clutch too often, they became too hot and burned. I asked Mr. Luescher senior if they had any troubles with these early scooters. He told me never, except with the clutches. At that time the engines weren't so strong but people often traveled in twos. Because the roads were steep, people often used the clutches to prevent the engine dying going uphill.





License number in the front
That was a typical Swiss thing.  The authorities said, that every motorbike has to have two numberplates, one in the front, another on the back. According to my information (please mail me if you know more) the law was published in 1925. From than, a lot of accidents happen and often the front numberplate was like a knife cutting into victims. The first change was that the front numberplates had to be in a frame to decrease the risk. But finally in 1955, it was no longer allowed to have that numberplate in the front. All the brackets of vehicles, that have been longer on the streets, had been removed and were replaced by two chrome covers.

A Vespa with sidecar (ca. 1953)

Nuberplate NW 561
Original front numberplate

from the 40ties

© 2006 by Thomas Hitz