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(CNN)A year before a fledgling company called Ferrari put its first prancing horse on an automobile, another future Italian icon made a much quieter, but no less auspicious debut.
The Vespa, meaning “wasp”, was meant to be the mechanized equivalent of its insectoid inspiration — sleek, nimble and extremely efficient.
As part of the 70th anniversary celebrations, the company is releasing new Vespa Settantesimo (Italian for “70th”) limited edition Primavera 50, Primavera 150, and GTS 300 models which are long on retro good looks.
Additionally, Vespa will be hosting Vespa World Days in St. Tropez in June, which is expected to draw more than 10,000 of the faithful, known as “Vespisti.”
In the gallery you’ll find some highlights from the past and present of the truly timeless two-wheeler.