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Vespa is an Italian line of scooters manufactured by Piaggio.The Vespa has evolved from a single model motor scooter manufactured in 1946 by Piaggio & Co. S.p.A. of Pontedera, Italy—to a full line of scooters and one of seven companies today owned by Piaggio—now Europe's largest manufacturer of two-wheeled vehicles and the world's fourth largest motorcycle manufacturer by unit sales.From their inception, Vespa scooters have been known for their painted, pressed steel unibody which combines a complete cowling for the engine (enclosing the engine mechanism and concealing dirt or grease), a flat floorboard (providing foot protection), and a prominent front fairing (providing wind protection) into a structural unit.The Vespa was the first globally successful scooter.The biggest sales promo ever was Hollywood. In 1952, Audrey Hepburn side-saddled Gregory Peck's Vespa in the feature film Roman Holiday for a ride through Rome, resulting in over 100,000 sales. In 1956, John Wayne dismounted his horse in favour of the two-wheeler to originally get between takes on sets. By the end of the fifties, Lucia Bosé and her husband, the matador Luis Miguel Dominguín, as well as Marlon Brando, Dean Martin, and the entertainer Abbe Lane had become Vespa owners. William Wyler filmed Ben Hur in Rome in 1959, allowing Charlton Heston to abandon horse and chariot between takes to take a spin on the Vespa.With its elegant lines and classic aesthetics, the Vespa is recognised as the epitome of Italian design. In recent years, many urban commuters have purchased new or restored Vespas. A shortage of available parking for automobiles in large urban areas and the Vespa's low running costs are two reasons for the increase in Vespa (and other scooter) popularity. The cultural use of the scooter as a recreational vehicle with a sub-cultural following in the USA/Canada and parts of Europe & Japan has also contributed to the rise in Vespa ownership. In contrast, the Vespa is considered a utilitarian vehicle for hauling products and sometimes up to 5 family members in much of Asia and MexicoVespa enthusiasts can visit the comprehensive Piaggio Museum & Gift Shop adjacent to the plant in central Pontedera, near Pisa, Tuscany. The permanent exhibition includes those items which toured prestigious venues such as the Guggenheim in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Also on display is, perhaps, the most famous Vespa of them all—the one personally customised by Salvador Dalí in 1962.Mod (originally modernist, sometimes capitalised) is a subculture that originated in London, England in the late 1950s and peaked in the early to mid 1960s.Significant elements of the mod subculture include: fashion (often tailor-made suits); pop music, including African American soul, Jamaican ska, and British beat music and R&B; and Italian motor scooters. The original mod scene was also associated with amphetamine-fuelled all-night dancing at clubs. From the mid to late 1960s onwards, the mass media often used the term mod in a wider sense to describe anything that was believed to be popular, fashionable or modern.There was a mod revival in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s, which was followed by a mod revival in North America in the early 1980s, particularly in Southern California.Many mods used motorscooters for transportation, usually Vespas or Lambrettas. Scooters had provided inexpensive transportation for decades before the development of the mod subculture, but the mods stood out in the way that they treated the vehicle as a fashion accessory. Italian motorscooter were preferred, due to their cleanlined, curving shapes and gleaming chrome. For young mods, Italian scooters were the "embodiment of continental style and a way to escape the working-class row houses of their upbringing".  They customised their scooters by painting them in "two-tone and candyflake and overaccessorized [them] with luggage racks, crash bars, and scores of mirrors and fog lights", and they often put their names on the small windscreen. Engine side panels and front bumpers were taken to local electroplating workshops and recovered in highly reflective chrome.Scooters were also a practical and accessible form of transportation for 1960s teens. In the early 1960s, public transport stopped relatively early in the night, and so having scooters allowed mods to stay out all night at dance clubs. To keep their expensive suits clean and keep warm while riding, mods often wore long army parkas. For teens with low-end jobs, scooters were cheaper than cars, and they could be bought on a payment plan through newly-available Hire purchase plans. After a law was passed requiring at least one mirror be attached to every motorcycle, mods were known to add four, ten, or as many as 30 mirrors to their scooters. The cover of The Who's album Quadrophenia, (which includes themes related to mods and rockers), depicts a young man on a scooter with four mirrors attached.After the seaside resort brawls, the media began to associate Italian scooters with the image of violent mods. When groups of mods rode their scooters together, the media began to view it as a "menacing symbol of group solidarity" that was "converted into a weapon". With events like the November 6, 1966, "scooter charge" on Buckingham Palace, the scooter, along with the mods' short hair and suits, began to be seen as a symbol of subversion. After the 1964 beach riots, hard mods (who later evolved into the skinheads) began riding scooters more for practical reasons. Their scooters were either unmodified or cut down, which was nicknamed a "skelly".Lambrettas were cutdown to the bare frame, and the unibody (monocoque)-design Vespas had their body panels slimmed down or reshaped.