You won't believe it, but it took this man 22 years to register his Vespa

Today, with more than 60 years behind him, Marco Lombardo is a graduate in nuclear physics with great works behind him. But in 1977, when he was 17, he unknowingly began writing an exciting story about how to get a Vespa registered.

We moved to Italy in the late '70s when he located a 1954 Vespa 125. It was in a pretty disastrous state because it had no license plate, documents or carburetor, and on top of that it was abandoned. He paid 20,000 liras at the time, at today's exchange rate it would be 10 euros, but what he took was a piece of junk that he didn't know if it would work or not, and that he had to push home.

There began the first part, the mechanics. The problem of being able to register it or not was secondary if the Vespa did not start. So without a carburetor, he sprayed gasoline into the cylinder while kicking it and the second time it started. It was clear, now we had to get the carburetor and begin the restoration process, and also the administrative procedures.

And that's where the real problem came. He was able to obtain the original license plate number, which was on the front fender, so he began the investigation to locate the owner and file the paperwork certifying the change of ownership. He ended up in Florence, where he discovered that he had died.

Registering the Vespa seemed like an impossible mission

Things got complicated, and although he got to ride with some cardboard plates for the holidays, Marco wanted his Vespa registered and legal. So he went around all the organizations, while he was in charge of continuing to keep his Vespa up to date. We are already talking about the decade of the '80s and early '90s, and at that time the motorcycle was already almost 40 years old.

But going back to 1983, there was a small ray of light. He managed to confirm that the motorcycle had not been involved in truculent business and, also, that until 1959 the license plates of motorcycles up to 125 were local, which made everything a little more complicated. Furthermore, the information regarding the motorcycle had been lost in floods. Everything seemed lost.

Now, 47 years later, the bike looks almost like new

And so the years passed until, yes, in the 90s he returned to the fray. She got all the documentation possible from Piaggio. He met her at the Milan office where he got to speak with the director, who urged him to write a letter asking to see if he could finally register her Vespa. The answer was negative, so again everything seemed forbidden.

But in 1999 the Italian Ministry of Transport gave him the go-ahead, so 22 years later he finally managed to have his Vespa in his name. Today, 25 years after he got the papers and 47 after the adventure began, Marco Lobardo still has that jewel from 1954 that looks practically as it did when it left the factory 70 years ago.

Happy drivers

Client testimonials

Lisa D.


Theuth has completely changed how I follow automotive news. Relevant articles, thorough reviews, and an active community!

Hanna A.


I never miss a live show. It's like having front-row seats at every exhibition or race, but from my couch!

Andrew R.


As a novice in the world of motorbikes, Theuth's guides and analysis have been invaluable for my first purchase.

Ignite the drive, explore the ride