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@apsevtorontowest avatar
UTC

Hooked
Vespa Dealer
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Location: Toronto Ontario Canada
 
Hooked
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Vespa Dealer
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UTC quote
Who is the oldest "authorized" Vespa dealer (with the same owners) in the USA and when did they start?
@jess avatar
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UTC quote
That's kind of a problematic question, since Vespa/Piaggio pulled out of the US altogether in the early 80s and didn't return until the early 2000s. Presumably, there were no "authorized" dealers during this time. That would mean that the early "boutiques" that Vespa was pushing when they first re-entered the US market would be the oldest (which isn't really very old) and I'm not sure how many of those are left.

One of those early "boutique" dealers -- Cars Dawydiak in San Francisco -- announced their status as a Vespa dealer in late 2000. However, they no longer hold that status, and it looks like Scuderia West now has the SF dealer territory for Vespa.

Rockridge Two Wheels in Oakland claims to be the oldest Piaggio dealer in the US, and they're probably right. They weren't initially a Vespa dealer, however, and there's a fascinating story about the legally-mandated exclusive dealership radius that involved Rockridge Two Wheels and Cars Dawydiak -- in two separate cities, but actually close enough to each other that one corner of the Rockridge Two Wheels building was within the 10 mile exclusivity radius.

Motorsport Scooters in San Diego was calling themselves Vespa Motorsport when Vespa re-entered the US market, and had to change their name as a result. I think it took several more years until they finally did become a Vespa dealer.

TL;DR: If there's more than one "boutique" Vespa dealer that survived from Vespa's re-entry in the US market, they probably aren't separated by very much in the way of time.

I'll bet Greasy can shed some light on this.
@mpfrank avatar
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2020 MP3 500 HPE Sport ABS/ASR
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UTC quote
Vespa Sherman Oaks - now called Vespa Los Angeles.

"In 2000, Piaggio executives in Italy decided to establish a dealer network for Vespa in the United States and chose our Los Angeles location as the original Vespa flagship store!

"Back then, the store was called "Vespa California" and was the only Vespa dealer in North America."

https://www.vespa-la.com/our-story
@jess avatar
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UTC quote
mpfrank wrote:
Vespa Sherman Oaks - now called Vespa Los Angeles.
I figured it would be something like that.
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Molto Verboso
S150 '09, Beo 500ie '08
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
mpfrank wrote:
Vespa Sherman Oaks - now called Vespa Los Angeles.
New ownership, no?
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UTC quote
Juan_ORhea wrote:
New ownership, no?
Vespa Sherman Oaks was owned and operated by MV's own SDG (Dave) and family for a number of years. I bought my three MP3s there. He started with Vespa Thousand Oaks before buying Vespa Sherman Oaks. He retired in 2020 and sold the dealership to the current owner.

One way or another, though, this dealership has been around from the (modern) beginning.
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2016 GTS 300 Settantesimo Grigio Pulsar
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UTC quote
It was great, and the staff were friendly and helpful when it was Vespa Sherman Oaks, and now it looks like I'll have to make another visit, because from their website, the showroom looks fantastic! Scooter emoticon
@tidwillow avatar
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Hooked
GILERA FUOCO II & GTS 300 SUPER
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UTC quote
When I lived in Oakland I frequented Rockridge Two Wheels when it was actually in Rockridge. The previous owner (Darragh, now owned by scuderia) kept a few Vespa models there but the dealership was actually Vespa Walnut Creek in which he also owned. It was the whole rule about not having two dealerships within close proximity of each other. They kept the bulk of the models in Walnut Creek, did sales there but then delivered to Rockridge/Oakland. It was a total work around and seemed to function. I think it's ridiculous that they wouldn't let them out right sell bikes there considering being separated by the bay itself. I didn't realize it was one of the oldest Vespa dealerships.....
@jimc avatar
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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UTC quote
Back in the day, Ivana Tinkle a.k.a. Mrs jimc, managed Vespa Walnut Creek single-handed for several years. It wasn't a full-time operation, most days just 11:00 'til 16:00 (11 am to 4 pm).
@jess avatar
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UTC quote
TIDWILLOW wrote:
When I lived in Oakland I frequented Rockridge Two Wheels when it was actually in Rockridge.
Yep, me too. That was my local dealer. Notably, I bought my Cannonball bike there after my intended steed -- a salvage GTS -- failed me on a test run. I called up Darragh and asked him what he had on the floor. A black GTS 250? Hold it for me. I'll be right over.
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Hooked
GILERA FUOCO II & GTS 300 SUPER
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jess wrote:
Yep, me too. That was my local dealer. Notably, I bought my Cannonball bike there after my intended steed -- a salvage GTS -- failed me on a test run. I called up Darragh and asked him what he had on the floor. A black GTS 250? Hold it for me. I'll be right over.
Yeah, I lived on Alcatraz for years before realizing that it was you that lived a few blocks away with the front yard full of Piaggios. I think we had this discussion years later at a Quitters gathering....
UTC

Enthusiast
07 Scarabeo 500ie,1980 Vespa P200E,2009 Vespa 250GT,2014 BMW C650GT
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Location: Sulphur Springs IN.
 
Enthusiast
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Location: Sulphur Springs IN.
UTC quote
Vespa Shelbyville in Shelbyville IN. Sept. 2005. Still in operation and run by the Sandman family. Started by two brothers in 1918 as a bicycle shop then auto and appliance dealer. Still going strong and very nice to deal with.
@dooglas avatar
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
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@dooglas avatar
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UTC quote
Vespa Portland was another of the original Vespa boutique dealerships in the "aughts". We bought our first scooter from them in 2007. They are still the primary Vespa dealership in Portland, though under a different owner.
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Molto Verboso
2009 GTS250, Ducati Monster M900, KTM 390 Adventure, Honda CR125
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
jimc wrote:
Back in the day, Ivana Tinkle a.k.a. Mrs jimc, managed Vespa Walnut Creek single-handed for several years. It wasn't a full-time operation, most days just 11:00 'til 16:00 (11 am to 4 pm).
My GTS came from Vespa Walnut Creek. I believe it was affiliated or owned by Rockridge Two Wheels at the time of purchase because they sent the bike to Darragh to do the fuel pump recall. I lived right by the Grand Lake theater back then. I think I waked to Rockridge to pick it up.
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Vespa C38 - S50 4T Super.
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Vespa C38 - S50 4T Super.
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UTC quote
Here I came, looking for a story about some distinguished gentleman, who brought the first Vespa's to the US by sail or steam powered ship. Fighting pirates, whales and mermaids on every wave. Immigrations, taxes and sinkholes after reaching the shore. Only to find the question was about brick and mortar dealership.
@jess avatar
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UTC quote
T.S.Zarathusra wrote:
Here I came, looking for a story about some distinguished gentleman, who brought the first Vespa's to the US by sail or steam powered ship. Fighting pirates, whales and mermaids on every wave. Immigrations, taxes and sinkholes after reaching the shore. Only to find the question was about brick and mortar dealership.
You'd be surprised how much drama is involved in opening and maintaining a Vespa dealership for any sustained amount of time.
@vintage_red_matthew avatar
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MV Santa
GTS250, 1975 VBC, 1980 P200E cutdown
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UTC quote
Now I'm wondering what is the oldest Vespa dealer in the world. Gotta be in Italy, right?
@dooglas avatar
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Buddy Kick 125
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@dooglas avatar
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UTC quote
vintage red matthew wrote:
Now I'm wondering what is the oldest Vespa dealer in the world. Gotta be in Italy, right?
A good question to ask the Piaggio Museum folks in Pontedera.
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