A revolutionary innovation involves painfully long examinations, test phases, and pretentious presentations. It is all the more painful if your invention turns out not to be so revolutionary at all. In the section ‘This was not’, we explain the most beautiful flops from the history of technology. This week the Vespa 150 TAP
Cute scooter with an attitude
France was in the fifties looking for a means of transport with which weapons could easily be brought to the front line. The French were already a chic people and found a suitable solution; a scooter with built-in rifle in the form of the Vespa 150 TAP.
The Vespa 150 TAP was specially designed for the French Air Force, the Troupes Aéro Portées (TAP). The scooter was fully equipped with weapons, including a large M20. The mobility of the scooter would ensure that it could easily be used against guerrilla groups in Algarije and Indochina.
An innovation whose idea was better than execution
The Vespa 150 TAP, or the Bazooka Vespa, was not the success one hoped for. It was not possible at all to fire the M20 Bazooka while driving. The blast of firing the M20 brought the Vespa out of balance and also the aiming with the scooter was not functional.
To solve this problem a tripod was attached to the scooter on which the M20 could be mounted after it was removed from the scooter, of course. The enemy had often located the French with the awkward Vespa at this point. Smart boys, those French. The Vespa 150 TAP with which the French had to win the battle eventually turned out to be a Vespa with a huge bazooka through it drilled through. Goh ..
A bad idea is also worth money
The Vespa 150 TAP is now a real collector’s item. If your French uncle happens to have one in his vineyard, it’s worth it to take the thing off him. They are now sold for an amount between fifteen and twenty thousand euros.