A VESPA modified in the 1950s to carry a massive 75mm gun is up for grabs at the Coys auction in Monaco this weekend.
The enormous gun (a US-made M20 recoilless rifle) was fitted to around 800 Vespas in the 1950s for the French airborne forces, but few survive. As rider, you actually sit astride the barrel; cue the “is that a gun in your pocket” references now!
Apparently you couldn't fire the massive gun betwixt your legs while actually riding. The bike had to be stopped and stabilisers put down before releasing a round. But it would still do very nicely when it comes to striking fear into other road users. This one has been deactivated anyway, but there's no reason anyone else should know that.
According to Coys, the bikes also had “additional rocket propelled grenades attractively presented in a wicker basket” and this one has been sitting unused on a military base for the last 30 years. It's in rough state, but no Vespa can be too hard to bring back to life, and this one certainly deserves it. Unfortunately, Coys suggests it would “make a fabulous corporate focal point" - we'd rather see it go to someone who can get it up and running to scare a few unwary drivers.
If you've got the estimated 12,000-15,000 Euros and want perhaps the toughest scooter ever made, check out www.coys.co.uk for more details of the sale.