War­rior Solo

Old Bike Australasia - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

Loved the amaz­ing col­lage of graph­ics in OBA70 headed “War­rior Side­cars”. Thought I’d share a War­rior Solo which packs a bit more punch – not in the horse­power stakes but cer­tainly in fire power. I man­aged to take a photo of such a beast in the now de­funct Vespa Mu­seum in St. Kilda a few years ago.

It was in fact a mil­i­tary ma­chine made in France in one of the li­censed Vespa assem­bly plants. It was known as a Vespa 150 TAP. TAP was short for Troupes Aero Por­tees or loosely trans­lated to air por­ta­ble ve­hi­cle. It was de­signed to be parachuted into the fields of bat­tle in 1956 through to 1959. Be­tween 600 to 800 were pro­duced and used in the Al­ge­rian and Indo China wars. An Amer­i­can M20, 3 inch Light Ar­mour Canon was fit­ted. This meant that the seat was re­moved and the rider sat on the rear of canon

on a thin piece of padded can­vas. This canon was vented at the back to make it re­coil­less so could ac­tu­ally be fired while in place on the bike. Might have been a bit of a hot seat af­ter fir­ing I’m think­ing. Gen­er­ally though a tri­pod was bolted to the bike and the canon could quickly be re­moved and ground mounted for bet­ter ac­cu­racy. To­day it might be a great way to deal with a bit of traf­fic con­ges­tion although prob­a­bly frowned upon by the con­stab­u­lary. Gaven Dall’Osto Bris­bane, Qld.

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