Giuseppe Cau, an internationally famous and pluri-decorated rider, was the headliner of a photoshoot at the Piaggio Museum, where he posed with two very special Vespa scooters: the recently launched Vespa Sei Giorni, an exclusive special version of the GTS produced in a numbered edition (www.vespa.com/it_IT/modelli-vespa/sei-giorni.html), eponymous heir to the original Vespa Sport “Sei Giorni”, which is included in the Piaggio Museum collection.
The “Sei Giorni” scooter has gone down in history: it was developed specifically for the arduous “International Six Days of Varese” in 1951 in Monza, where it was the star performer, taking home an astonishing 9 gold medals.
One of the members of that legendary Piaggio Racing Team was Giuseppe Cau, with race number 94. In these photos, he proudly displays the Gold Medal he won 66 years ago in Monza, on 23 September 1951. All the other Vespa riders are remembered too.
RE-ENACTMENT IN VARESE. An “International Six Days Varese” event was held recently (8-10 September 2017) to re-enact the famous 1951 race. In attendance was Giuseppe Cau, Honorary President of the Vespa Club Rho Cau Racing Team, who was presented with a commemorative plaque.
The team, led by Valerio Paparazzo, put in a strong performance at the re-enactment, winning the “Scuderie” (Racing Teams) first prize. The event was also attended by Vespa riders from Germany, Switzerland and Taiwan.
(Our thanks to: Valerio Paparazzo, Vespa Club Rho Cau Racing Team; Piaggio Museum team for their cooperation).
GIUSEPPE CAU: A CAVALIER ON A VESPA. The history of the Vespa, which dates back more than 70 years, is peopled by a gallery of extraordinary personalities. One of the places of honour goes to Giuseppe Cau, an enthusiastic and energetic 89 year-old, and the only person to have been decorated as a Cavalier of the Italian Republic for “Vespa merits”.
Born in Rome to a Sardinian family, but a native of Pontedera by adoption, as a boy Giuseppe worked in a mechanic’s workshop in the capital. “I was 18, rather short and scrawny, weighing just 42 kilos,” he tells us. And that was his secret of his success: “Because you’re so small, the Vespa is just right for you,” people told him.
So Giuseppe, who had a passion for engines and speed, became an extraordinary racing driver, the winner of the 1951 “International Six Days” (gold medal) and of dozens of other races on Vespa scooters. His victories led him to Piaggio, where he worked in the area of technical assistance and with the acrobatics team. “We travelled all over Europe, putting on displays that a circus athlete would have been proud of,” Giuseppe says. “Legs in the air, curled up on the luggage rack, balancing on the handlebars… No one ever taught us, we learned all the tricks by ourselves.” Giuseppe Cau continues to act as Vespa “ambassador” today, attending rallies and events around the world. An authentic “legend” in the international world of Vespa, with books about his story and racing career.
Last year, on the occasion of the Vespa’s 70th anniversary, the Busdraghi dealer in Pontedera dedicated a Vespa “Super Cau” to Giuseppe, giving the two-wheeler champion the honour of seeing his name associated with a special limited Vespa PX edition identified by his triumphant race number (94). They say that a Vespa changes your life: “It’s true,” says Giuseppe, “I fell in love with the scooter at first sight and thanks to the Vespa found work and fortune, travelling all over the world and making thousands of friends. All of them passionate Vespa lovers like me.” And this year, in a richly deserved tribute, Wide magazine dedicates this photoshoot to him with the Vespa Sei Giorni scooters, past and present!