1959 Douglas Vespa 152/L2

Douglas Vespa 152-L2 side view

the backbone of the 1960s Mod culture.

The scooter was a development by the Italian aircraft company, Piaggio, as a means of simple transportation for its workforce around the vast factory at Pontedera. Claude McCormack, Managing Director of Douglas (Kingswood) Ltd, imported the idea in 1948, and used it to rescue the struggling Bristol based motorcycle company.

Manufactured under license the Douglas Vespa (the Italian translation for 'wasp') was practically identical in design to the Piaggio product.

The huge success and popularity that followed the Vespa's launch in March 1951 was almost overwhelming and uncontrollable. It captured the imagination of a generation and eventually became the backbone of the 1960s Mod culture.

Quick Facts

  • Maximum speed 46mph/74.03kph
  • Price new £131
  • Date made 1959
  • Place made Bristol, UK
  • Maker Douglas (Sales & Service) Ltd
  • Made of metal, rubber, glass and leather


  • The 1959 Douglas Vespa 152/L2 was built with an engine capacity of 124cc and one cylinder. 
  • This scooter was chosen by Andrea Morrison (Distribution Supervisor) as her favourite object on exhibition in the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. Andrea has been a member of staff at Beaulieu since 2006. Watch the video in the "Gallery" section to see Andrea talk about the significance of this object to her.


Vespa mod scooter on run 2008
Douglas Vespa 152-L2 front view
1959 Douglas Vespa 152/L2

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