Piatti Scooters and Design

Today in Motorcycle History

Piatti Scooter Archive

Vincent Piatti and the art of Design

An archive of a site devoted to an Italian designed scooter built in Belgium and England

Nick of New Zealand

Nick has kindly granted permission for the use of his material, and has supplied the code and images missing from the two online sources available at time of writing.

The site has been described elsewhere as "charming". This version does not do the original justice, and lacks the quite wonderful Flash presentations that Nick spent so much time building late last century.

A somewhat younger Nick went hunting for information about the relic he was researching as a design student. He went to the source, and met Piatti in London in 1996, when Vincent (Vincenzo) was in his late 80s.

He discovered Vincent's network was a who's who of engineers from all the car makers he'd worked with since his early days working under Ettore Bugatti.

Vincent had long and varied career with some low points - arguably the Piatti scooter - and highlights like the Suzuki Twin Spin Combustion Chamber (TSCC). Vincent had designed for British manufacturers Francis Barnett and AMC, and produced the 'Trojan Mini-Motor' which sold over 100,000 units. The same tiny motor sold very well as a stationary engine to power sheep shears in New Zealand and Australia throughout the mid century.

Vincent also designed a small but sleek car, the 'Minigatto' on a Mini Minor chassis with coachwork executed by Zagato. Just one of these prototypes was made in 1961 and it still exists today. It is believed Piatti worked with Zagato to build the initial scooter prototype to Piatti's design.

However, Vincent's specialty was combustion chambers and until late in his career he had active projects with Saab, Suzuki and Fiat, and he used his Milan workshop for testing his prototypes and concepts.

Vincent Piatti was working with many of the great European manufacturers well into his eighties. Vincent was fluent in half a dozen languages, and he and his similarly multilingual wife Milan translated several automotive manufacturer's construction manuals and specification documents so that vehicles could be built in other countries.

For exercise while at his holiday home in Sardinia he rode a sailboard practically every day.

This archive will hopefully give a glimpse into the character of a great man of the automotive world.

The original site was piattiscooters.com. parts of which are available at the Wayback Machine.

About the Archives

Sources include:
Wayback Machine


Some archives have been left much as they were when last active at their original location, and others have been changed. Modifications range from updating code and fixing spelling errors and broken links, to a complete redesign to current web standards.

In the case of missing images and media, replacements are installed as they are discovered. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

Attempts have been made to contact the previous owners to obtain approval, but these have not always proved fruitful.

If you have information or a query about this archive, please contact us.