140 years of Piaggio. Do you remember the Moscone outboard? It was the “Wasp of the Sea”


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Piaggio; Moscone outboard; 1957
Piaggio; Moscone outboard; 1957


The Vespa, the Ape, but also the Porter or the P.180 Next. From the asphalt to the sky, Piaggio brought a remarkable innovative and creative load. What about in the water? There you have it, the story of the
, the legendary outboard that was to be the “Wasp of the Sea”! For the brand’s 140th anniversary, we take a dip into the past to see a marine engine that has now disappeared from the radar.

Moscone, the wasp of the seas

Outboards have a long, long history. Since the 1930s, aided and abetted by powerboat races that bewitched the public with feats of speed and adrenaline, this powerplant was the talk of the town. But still in the postwar period, there had not been much dissemination to the general public in Italy. It was Enrico Piaggio who noticed this and immediately worked to create a practical vehicle for touring and utilitarian purposes. In short, for recreation.

Given the success of one of the world’s most famous motorcycles, at Piaggio the connection was immediate.“Vespa of the Seas,” as the Moscone, one of the first mass-market outboards on the Peninsula, became known to the general public. A project that began in 1948, just two years after the birth of the Vespa, and touched the water in May 1949 at Idroscalo in Milan.

The debut of the Piaggio Moscone

It had made its official debut at the Milan Trade Fair, the highlight event of that time, back in April of that year. In addition to dignitaries and journalists, the anniversary was also attended by the president of the Italian Motor Boating Federation and Achille Castoldi, the famous world speed record holder on outboards in 1930 and 1940.

With him also came a small boat, also designed by Piaggio, a “dinghi”-style hull built in the Finale Ligure shipyards run by Enrico Piaggio’s brother Armando Piaggio. The pair cost 218,000 liras, but the single engine stopped at 98,000 liras.

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