THE STORY OF 1000 KM PDF Print E-mail

A special mention and special thanks go to the memory of Guido De Rossi, who we had the honor to know and to have as a guest at our meeting in 2002, and to his book: “La "1000" vespistica - due momenti di un mito (1951-1954 1965-1970)” important guide and fundamental document for all the fans of this event.
We also thank the Honorary President of the Vespa Club Mantova Franco Federici for his direct testimony to the two editions of 1000 km in which he participated and the photographic documentation that he provided us, visible in the special section.


• 10 ^ Edition-MANTOVA 17-18 JUNE 2011
The tenth edition of 1000 km Vespistica was born thanks to the "dream" and the determination of the board of the Vespa Club Mantova that wanted to revive the excitement of a challenging Audax, after 41 years of absence from the world of Vespa.
After months of hard work, the wish came true and the morning of June 17, 2011 in the historic Piazza Sordello of Mantova, with the presence of three veterans of the 1000 Km year 50/60: Franco Federici, Antonio Zin and Franco Montaldi, the 10th edition of the legendary and dreamed 1000 km started with 200 members.
In the innovative route there were 4 regions: Lombardia, Piemonte, Emilia Romagna and Veneto, with 5 stages of approximately 200 km and 10 time controls to the hundredth of a second. The flat track, with a lot of interesting and exciting views, accompanied for 25 hours the intrepid Vespa enthusiast that drove various models of Vespa from “headlight low” to the PX, to the most modern automatics.
Vespa once again confirmed all its qualities of strength and reliability, the clearest demonstration: 10 Vespa “headlight low” years 48/54 have all successfully completed the hard test, they also snubbed 3 younger Vespa!!
The starters were 191 and 16 people didn’t participate, the winner was the champion of many national and international competitions Marco Tomassini of the VC Foligno, followed by Alessandro Bisti of the VC Viterbo and then by Uldiano Acquafresca of VC St. Vincent, recently and prematurely died.
Among the members representing more than 50 Italian Vespa Club there were also three competitors from France and one from Belgium.

• 9 ^ Edition-CATANZARO 1-2 JUNE 1970
Last 1000 km in Catanzaro in Calabria, there were 41 starters and 31 of them finished the race. The Regulation chanced and became similar to that of the Italian Championship, time controls kept, the discriminatory features eliminated and replaced with "special stages" with detection by time pressure.
• 8 ^ Edition-REGGIO CALABRIA 31 May-1 JUNE 1969
For the first time the 1000 km take place in the south. Departure and arrival in Reggio Calabria, there were 45 starters and 39 of them conclude the race.
The innovation of this edition was that the 1000 km becomes a single race for the title of European Champion. A lot of participants had experience in regularity and they fought until the last time control.

• 7 ^ EDITION - VICENZA 20-21 July 1968
In 1967, the 1000 km wasn’t performed because of the great flood in autumn of 1966 to the establishments of Piaggio. The race started in 1968 from Vicenza to Vicenza again, there were 79 participants and 74 of them finished the test. A place to refuel and refreshment was in Mantova in Viale Piave (old “Esso” gas station) and from photos of the event (see archive) you can notice many people intrigued, despite the late hour, by the arrival of Vespa riders.

• 6 ^ EDITION - URBINO 25-26 June 1966
The start and finish were in Urbino, there were 75 starters and 73 of them completed the trial. The regulation didn’t change from that of the previous edition. At this edition there were many champions of specialty, from Genova, Milano, Asti, Roma and Napoli, and some of them had already successfully participated at previous editions.


• 5 ^ EDITION - BOLOGNA 29-30 May 1965
From 1955 to 1964 the 1000 miles stopped and resumed in 1965 with the Fifth Edition, which started from Bologna and finished at the autodrome in Imola. The participants in this edition were 79 and everybody arrived to the end. It was very hard to decide the winner because only in the final stage the winner won the race with a very small time difference from the second classified. It’s interesting to notice that the race attracted Vespa riders of all ages, the youngest in the competition came from Foligno and he was 19 years old and the oldest came from Asti, he was 60 years old!



• 4 ^ Edition-BRESCIA 5-6 JUNE 1954
The 1000 km changed location and had a new regulation. Lombardia, Veneto e Piemonte were the 3 regions of this edition, there were 331 participants and 319 of them finished the race. It also changes the name, from "Audax vespistico of 1000 km" became "1000 km Vespistica”. There were always the 5 sectors of 200 km each and for the first time in the last mile before the finish line in Brescia, for reasons of safety, participants had to maintain an average speed of 40 km/h. In this edition also Franco Federici participated, from Vespa Club Mantova, nicknamed " il Nuvolari a due tempi " he arrived at 24th place, a very good result, and he will have a lot of other successes, for example in 1958 the title of champion of Lombardia and many other excellent prizes in Italian and regional Championship trials. Today at the age of 87 years he is the Honorary President of the Vespa Club Mantova, and he participates with interest at all the various activities of the club.

• 3 ^ Edition-BRESCIA 30-31 MAY 1953
It’s interesting to note that in 1953 the participants were 372 and 315 of them concluded the race, including Franco Federici. Because of the bad weather, rain for almost the entire race, some of the participants were eliminated, but many of them continued the trial until the end . 322 people arrived but 7 were disqualified because they exceeded the average speed of 50 km/h. The fastest Vespa riders was a Piaggio tester, Ferdinand Nesti, that reached the speed of 73.011 km/h, followed by Antonio Zin 71.602 km/h, Alberto Vivaldi 71.210 km/h and other 4 participants that reached about 70 km/h. At this edition there were 16 women, 14 of them finished the race.


• 2 ^ Edition-BRESCIA 5-6 July 1952
The departure of the Second Edition is always in Brescia and there were 365 participants and 355 of them concluded the race. The most important innovations are the time controls on the 5 stages, and so every 200 miles. The prize was very important: for the winner about 500 euro, for the second classified 250 euro and for the third one 125 euro (the amount is approximate because in those years in Italy there were still “lire”). Also in this edition there were some riders who didn’t respect the regulation, for example Antonio Zin from Vicenza made the entire race at an average speed of 71.460 km/h (the speed limit was 50 km/h), and so he was disqualified.

• 1 ^ Edition-BRESCIA 16-17 JUNE 1951
The event called "Audax vespistico of 1000 Km" was born in 1951 with the first edition on 16-17 June with departure and arrival in Brescia. It  wanted from 300 to 400 participants from Italy and some other countries of Europe, and it wanted to remember the famous “Mille Miglia” of cars, in fact  the departure and arrival in Brescia was in Rebuffone Avenue, the historic theatre of the “Mille Miglia”. For some years, the Audax was a real race of speed, it was necessary to do the entire track in 25 hours, with an average speed of more than 40 km/h, in that period the 125 Vespa went to the maximum speed of 70/75 km/h. It is interesting to note that the fastest Vespa drivers was Bruno Romano from Milano who completed 1000 km in 15 hours 11 minutes and 12 seconds at an average speed of 65.597 km/h, and 6 women who participated, all crossed the finish line. Another remarkable thing of this edition was that the cycling champion Antonio Bevilacqua joined the race, after 6 days from the end of the” Giro d'Italia”, he participated at the 1000 km. At the start line 273 people began the trial and 265 of them arrived to the end, this number attested the strength and endurance of a vehicle that was changing the Italy and who later became a myth, the Vespa.
• Unofficial Winner BRUNO ROMANO


These are just some brief summaries of the different editions of the legendary 1000 km Vespistica, an event full of anecdotes, curiosities, stories of men, and true lovers of the Vespa.
For more than 40 years to take part in this beautiful event was the "dream" of many Vespa riders, in this 11th edition they will have the opportunity to "relive" a rich historical past in a modern context, with Vespa easier and faster, but with the knowledge that 1000 km are always "many" and that prudence is never enough.
Nico Cereghini with the motto "helmet fastened and headlights on during the day" shows us the right way to deal with the right care this race that will remain in the annals of the history of modern “vespismo” and those of us who have the opportunity to participate in this 11th Edition of the 1000 km Vespistica can say to posterity: “I was there”.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 November 2014 18:37