As the sixties progressed, and the average age of a new scooter owner went down and down, so it became imperative to milk the 50cc market for all it was worth. Vespa and Lambretta were still competitors. Sales of larger scooters were dropping all the time. It was clear that whoever had the better small-frame range would be the survivor.


The standard Vespa 50- complete with nine-inch wheels - had been a huge sales success. But there was clearly room for something slightly up market to snare the fashion conscious sixteen year old. So, as 1969 dawned, enter the 50 Special. Ten-inch wheels, a flashy horn casting and headset, separate finned hubs just like the bigger models, and a wide range of colours. Did they go for it? Of course they did! By the time production finished in 1982 more than three quarters of a million had passed through Pontadera’s production lines. And this was in addition to the regular 50cc model that continued in production.


There were a few developments along the way. The original V5A2 of ‘69 kept the nine-inch wheels of the basic model. In 1972 it was replaced with the V5B1, which had the ten-inch wheels and hubs of the Primavera. The badging was updated at this point. In 1975 this was in turn replaced by the V5B3 which had a four-speed gearbox. The 50 Special, though, must be considered one of Vespa’s greatest sales successes. Those tempted to turn their noses up at it should remember that it played a major part in keeping the Vespa Marque going in the seventies. When you consider that the combined sales of the Rally 180 and 200 in the period 1968 to 1977 were only seventy thousand or so, you can see just how important all those 50 Special sales must have been for Piaggio



The Model 50 Special was produced from 1969 to 1982 . Characteristic of the rectangular shape of the headlight and the hake which covered the head tube and the horn, it was virtually "indestructible" and much improved compared to models 50 New , Luxury and renewed. It is divided into three series:


  • First series ( 1969 - the 1972nd (in part), characterized by identification written in italics positioned at an angle ( Vespa 50 in front, above and below, and Special behind, above the headlight), hake copristop plastic front and blacks, wheels from 9 "with four nuts and three-speed gearbox;

  • Second series ( in 1972 - 1,975 ), in which the wheels turn 10 "with five nuts, hake and copristop become light gray, the writing becomes horizontal letters lowercase and written Vespa front, 50 Special rear (even if the first units had not yet written the old type), while the three-speed transmission. stand increased from 16mm to 20mm and therefore more strength and stability.

  • Third series ( 1,975th - 1,982 ), with the change of the exchange rate, the past three to four marches unify the older sister Vespa 125 Primavera and the reinforced frame.



Characteristic of all series is the single seat in hunchback , but many saddles replaced with elongated, or other for two people, for convenience. He was one of the symbols of the seventies and was a huge sales success: the last series, in particular, were (and still are) one of the preferred means for the mechanical processing (the simplest and most up was the replacement of the exhaust so-called "pan "with the exhaust expansion to" torpedo "(already seen on the big sister Primavera 125 ET3) because from 1978 reinforcements were installed under the frame and therefore is more robust when compared to the previous models had also replaced the front nose with a more square-like models PK and PX.
The 50 Special did not have turn signals and you could choose whether to mount behind the shell support for spare wheel or the glove box, the rectangular speedometer was optional.

Vespa 50 Special - Series description

V5A2T  1969-1972 (#1 series - MK1)

The Special version is the model 50 with the most accurate finishes. Compared to the "R" variants of the same period the group regarding handlebar-headlamp, the hubs of the wheels and finned tail light. And 'particularly recognized for copristerzo, contrasting with a fairing to match with that of the body. The writing on the outside of the shield are diagonal. The 3-speed gearbox. V5A2T version is equipped with wheels from 8 ", while on V5B1T are assembled, starting from 1972, wheels 10". Number Produced: V5A2T: 95,012 V5B1T: 94,670

V5B1T  1972-1975 (#1 series - MK1)

The Special version is the model 50 with the most accurate finishes. Compared to the "R" variants of the same period the group regarding handlebar-headlamp, the hubs of the wheels and finned tail light. And 'particularly recognized for copristerzo, contrasting with a fairing to match with that of the body. The writing on the outside of the shield are diagonal. The 3-speed gearbox. V5A2T version is equipped with wheels from 8 ", while on V5B1T are assembled, starting from 1972, wheels 10". Number Produced: V5A2T: 95,012 V5B1T: 94,670

V5B3T  1975-1983 (#2 series - MK2)

The second version of the Special stands for modern writing, positioned horizontally instead of diagonally. The gearbox is a 4 instead of 3 speeds, and also thanks to the wheels 10 ", the Special has been significantly improved in behavior on the road. With the introduction of the 4-speed gearbox, this Special reaches almost to perfection, and became the dream of fourteen many: it is beautiful and effective in driving. Number Produced: V5B3T: 563,955

Vespa 50 Special - Technical specification

Frame type Rim Gears speed km/h Specification

V5A2T  1969-1972 (#1 series - MK1)

V5A2M

smallframe 9" 3 gears 40 km/h

engine: single cylinder, air cooled 2-stroke induction: disc valve bore: 38.4 mm stroke: 43 mm cubic capacity: 49.77 cc compression ratio: 7.2:1 bhp at rpm: lubrication: 2% oil transmission: 3 speed constant mesh 1st gear: 1: 25.12 2nd gear: 1: 14.13 3rd gear: 1: 8.94 clutch: wet - multiplate carburetor: Dell'Orto SHB 16/10 main jet: 51 pilot jet: 38 ignition: contact breaker & coil ignition timing: 19 degrees BTDC breaker gap: 0.3 - 0.5 mm voltage: 6 volt AC wheels: 9" tires: 2.75 x 9"

V5B1T  1972-1975 (#1 series - MK1)

V5A2M

smallframe 10" 3 gears 40 km/h

engine: single cylinder, air cooled 2-stroke induction: disc valve bore: 38.5 mm stroke: 43 mm cubic capacity: 49.77 cc compression ration: 9: 1 bhp at rpm: lubrication: 2% oil transmission: 3 speed constant mesh primary drive: 16/68 1st gear: 1: 25.12 2nd gear: 1: 14.13 3rd gear: 1: 8.94 clutch: wet - multiplate carburetor: Dell'Orto main jet: slow running jet: diffuser: main air bleed: starter jet: ignition: contact breaker & coil ignition timing: 19 degrees BTDC breaker gap: 0.3 - 0.5 mm voltage: 6 volt wheels: 10" tires: 3.00 x 10"

V5B3T  1975-1983 (#2 series - MK2)

V5A4M

smallframe 10" 4 gears ? km/h

engine: single cylinder, air cooled 2-stroke induction: disc valve bore: 38.5 mm stroke: 43 mm cubic capacity: 49.77 cc compression ration: 9: 1 bhp at rpm: lubrication: 2% oil transmission: 4 speed constant mesh 1st gear: ? 2nd gear: ? 3rd gear: ? 4th gear: ? clutch: wet - multiplate carburetor: Dell'Orto SHB 16/12 main jet: slow running jet: diffuser: main air bleed: starter jet: ignition: contact breaker & coil ignition timing: 19 degrees BTDC breaker gap: 0.3 - 0.5 mm voltage: 6 volt wheels: 10" tires: 3.00 x 10"

Vespa 50 Special color (colour)

* Chromium Yellow: MaxMeyer 1.298.2933
* Coral Red: MaxMeyer 1.298.5811
* Silver: MaxMeyer 2.268.0108
* (from 1972) Red: MaxMeyer 1.298.5847
* (from 1972) White: MaxMeyer 1.298.1715
* (from 1973) Racing Red: MaxMeyer 1.298.5806
* (from 1975) Katmandu Red: MaxMeyer 1.298.5875
* (from 1975) Tenerife Red : MaxMeyer 1.298.5870
* (from 1976) Coral Red: MaxMeyer 1.298.5880
* (Fork, Hub, Flywheel, etc.) Aluminum: MaxMeyer 1.268.0983
* Inside Gray Primer: MaxMeyer 8012M

Vespa 50 Special - VIN numbers; VIN serial numbers; Chassis number

  VIN prefix Year VIN Chassis Number Vespas made  
V5A2T #1 series - MK1
V5A2T1969 1001 - 20151 014
V5A2T1970 2016 - 3425732 241
V5A2T1971 34258 - 6552631 268
V5A2T1972 65527 - 9601330 486
V5B1T #1 series - MK1
V5B1T1972 1001 - 64265 425
V5B1T1973 6427 - 4238535 958
V5B1T1974 42386 - 8650744 121
V5B1T1975 86508 - 956719 163
V5B3T #2 series - MK2
V5B3T1975 1101 - 4801446 913
V5B3T1976 48015 - 9762449 609
V5B3T1977 97625 - 15461556 990
V5B3T1978 154616 - 22682372 207
V5B3T1979 226824 - 30452577 701
V5B3T1980 304526 - 39913394 607
V5B3T1981 399134 - 506189107 055
V5B3T1982 506190 - 56498558 795
V5B3T1983 564986 - 56505670

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