It’s official: VCOA in Vespa World Club

Vespa World Club was announced about a year ago, but not much happened since then. Today Vespa Club of America president J.D. Merryweather received confirmation that on Feburary 28, at the VWC Directive Council meeting, VCOA’s membership was officially approved. This announcement signifies a commitment from Piaggio in Italy that thankfully ends a year of confusion about the future of the VCOA. The affiliation should enhance the VCOA’s already-great credibility, stability, and member benefits.

Denver Post: 600+ scooterists at Amerivespa?

A column in the Denver Post is projecting Amerivespa/LammyJammy/Stellabration will “more than double” the size of Denver’s recent 300+ Mile High Mayhem rallies. If you’re planning on coming, PRE-REGISTER NOW to make sure you’ve reserved your place at all the events, especially the banquet at Wings over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, which is limited to the first 500 registrants.

Kymco giving away Amerivespa trips

Amerivespa 2006 is, happily, shaping up to be quite the pan-scooter event. Starting life as the national Vespa rally combined with Denver’s legendary Mile High Mayhem rally, it also now encompasses this year’s Lambretta Jamboree and Stellabration. Main sponsor Kymco is giving away vacation packages to the Rally to ten lucky winners.

Vespa World Club Website

vwc_card.jpgLo and behold, the VWC has a website already. The logo is revealed (a ho-hum rehash of the 50th annivesary logo, and where’s the “cog!?”) as is the organizational chart and a “Statute” outlining club rules– in Italian, though the rest of the site is available in “Italiano (Italia)” and “English (United States)”, aka the correctly-but-oddly-translated “Piaggio English” we love so. It’s happily been taken for granted that current national clubs (indluding the Vespa Club of America) have been listed as VWC affiliates. The “Activities” section, where one would expect to find an international rally calendar, instead lists competition events, perhaps they’re standardizing the gymkhana for international competition? A login promises a photo gallery, forum, and, er, blogs, as if there aren’t enough scooter blogs. (The one you’re reading is one too many).

Leardi named head of “Vespa World Club”

“The key to the Vespa is that it has a soul,
It is not just a piece of machinery.�

leardi.jpgYou may remember reading those words last week during Piaggio’s celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Vespa. It’s a quote from Roberto Leardi who (we’ve confirmed) was named head of the new “Vespa World Club” at the 57th National Congress of the Vespa Club d’Italia. Leardi’s comment struck us as very insightful, and we hope that as he leaves Rome for his new office in Pontedera he keeps the soul of the Vespa independent from the balance sheet of the company that created it. Piaggio’s choice of Leardi is a good start, and we look forward to hearing more about the goals and organization of the new World Club soon.

FIV replacement announcement soon?

It appears that Piaggio may soon announce a new international Vespa Club sanctioning body to replace the FIV (Federazione Internazionale dei Vespa Clubs), which they mysteriously dissolved in December. The new body is rumored to be called “Vespa World Club” and is likely to be directed by popular Vespa Club Italy president Roberto Leardi. Unfortunately, comments from Piaggio CEO Rocco Sabelli, published in the November/December issue of the company magazine “Piaggiornale,” indicate that this new organization might be under even tighter control of Vespa’s marketing department:

“To this end [adding extra value to our brands], we will be launching merchandising programs based on each brand’s history and traditions for professional and market-oriented use of the Vespa Club, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi communities.”

Hopefully Sabelli’s comment describes an increased investment to support the independent rallies and clubs that keep the scooter scene alive, rather than a plan to co-opt the historic and colorful national Vespa Clubs and re-tool them into Piaggio marketing squads. In any case, EUROVESPA 2006 is still scheduled for Turin this summer, and proudly displaying the FIV logo on their site.