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.