Vespa Designer was an Italian aeronautical engineer named General Corradino D’Ascanio. He credited and responsible for this revolutionary vehicle. Corradino was a radical free spirit who had built his own glider at 15 and designed Italy’s first helicopter. Unfortunately, however, he didn’t like conventional motorcycles, considering them bulky and dirty, so set about making a two-wheeler that was different. He moved the gears to the handlebars, made it a ‘step-thru’ with leg shields and footboards so that women could ride it in skirts and hid the engine away to keep the riders and their clothes clean. The Vespa designer ‘s hate for motorcycles led to becoming one of the most one of the best-selling powered two-wheelers of all time with over 18 million examples sold.
Some of its success was accelerated through active promotion in a series of popular movies with stars like Anita Ekberg, Audrey Hepburn, Charlton Heston, and Stephen Boyd.
According to Wikipedia, the main stimulus for the Vespa design style of the proposed Lambretta dated back to Pre-WWII Cushman scooters made in Nebraska, USA. These olive green scooters were in Italy in large numbers, ordered originally by the US Government as field transport for the Paratroops and Marines. The US military had used them to get around Nazi defense tactics, destroying roads and bridges during the Battle of Monte Cassino and in the Dolomites and the Austrian border areas.