Friends, feast your eyes on the best scooter you'll see all year. Looks like a Vespa, right? It's not. This is, according to a Redditor named ANTICA-CYCLE, not a Vespa at all but a 1951 ACMA. What's that? Never heard of ACMA? Well, neither had I until today. So, since talking about it, let's learn a little bit about license-built Vespas, Piaggio Apes, and other extremely Italian things.
Ateliers de Construction de Motocycles et Accessoires—ACMA to its friends—was founded on November 25, 1950, in Fourchambault, a commune in central France. The company is best known as a maker of microcars and scooters, and specifically for producing a line of license-built Vespa scooters. ACMA built tens of thousands of licensed scooters and microcars between 1951 and 1962, when it finally succumbed to various market pressures.
Now, with that out of the way, let's talk about this glorious thing here. ANTICA-CYCLE states that it's a 1951, 125cc model. The sidecar is apparently a Steib, which were commonly found on BMW's at the time. The weird cab/canopy/thingy is, according to our Redditor, an aftermarket piece designed to fit a Piaggio APE.
You ever hear of the Ape? It's another extremely Italian thing from the middle 20th century. Essentially a Vespa with an extra rear wheel, the Ape (Bee in Italian) was designed to fill a number of desperately needed roles in post-war Italy. They're still made today, and are every bit as adorable and versatile as ever.
So, yeah. Our Cycleweird feature today is a sticker-covered, French-built Vespa copy sporting a German sidecar and a bolt-on canopy from a Piaggio Ape. Everything about it is perfect. From those sweet chrome wheel covers to the perfectly patinaed green paint to the Art Deco hood ornament on the sidecar. This old survivor is extremely cool, and the only thing I hate about it is that it doesn't live in my garage.