Vespa 400. Light blue version in Caunes-Minervois

The Vespa 400 is a rear-engined microcar, produced by ACMA in Fourchambault (France) from 1957 to 1961 to the designs of the Italian Piaggio company. Light blue version in Caunes-Minervois



Two cylinder, two stroke, air cooled. Bore, stroke: 63 mm x 63 mm (393 cc). Motor cyclists at the time were used to mixing oil into their fuel, but the manufacturer belatedly realised that this might compromise the 400’s standing as a “car”, and from the summer of 1958 “two stroke oil” was held in separate reservoir with a semi-automatic dispenser on the right side of the engine bay.

Compression ratio

6.4:1 with 13 hp, later increased respectively to 6.6:1 and 14 hp.


Four wheel independent. Four double acting hydraulic shock absorbers with coil springs. Front anti-roll bar.

Manual transmission

3 speed plus reverse, with 2nd & 3rd synchromesh. 4 speed available only in Europe markets.


Hydraulically operated drums of 6.75 in (171 mm) diameter.


With only 14 hp (10 kW), top speed is 50 to 55 mph (80 to 90 km/h), depending on road grade, wind conditions, etc. Achieving top speed takes 25 seconds. Fuel economy is about 5 L/100 km (47.0 mpg‑US).

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