Pizza Pilgrims use custom sidecar for second expedition

Pizza Pilgrims use custom sidecar for second expeditionVespa-powered sidecar outfit built in Britain by Watsonian for James and Thom Elliot, founders of Pizza Pilgrims

Following their first pizza pilgrimage in a three-wheel Piaggio Ape van in 2011, restaurateurs Thom and James Elliot decided to embark on a new adventure last year, to celebrate the 10th birthday of their first UK pizzeria.

The brothers visited Watsonian Sidecars and asked them to build an outfit that could carry a passenger, but also convert into a working pizza kitchen when parked.

“Since the company was founded in 1912 we’ve built thousands of tradesmen’s outfits for all sorts of jobs, including ice cream sellers, milkmen and even firemen” says Watsonian Managing Director Ben Matthews. “A tiny pizzeria is definitely a first and something totally unexpected.”

An Italian Vespa GTS300 scooter – already a popular choice with sidecar customers – was selected to provide the power. The development team at Watsonian started by attaching their Platform Chassis, then fitted the Grand Prix sidecar bodyshell, which is similar to the design supplied for filming of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Next, they set to work adapting the sidecar body to fulfil the brief; a tubular steel rack was engineered, to sit behind the scooter and carry a Gozney restaurant-grade portable pizza oven. To transport ingredients, a specially designed box was CNC-machined from HDPE thermoplastic and precision fitted over the sidecar boot.

Solid oak worktops were then fitted on top of the box. These fold out over the passenger cockpit, providing plenty of workspace when cooking.

Finally, bespoke carriers for the pizza peel and cutter were bolted onto the sidecar.

In July 2023, James and Thom set out on a whistlestop 10-day trip to Italy in the Pizza Vespa, visiting icons of the Neapolitan pizza scene, as well as suppliers and friends they’ve made over the last 10 years. You can follow the Pizza Pilgrims progress in a series of videos on their YouTube channel at

Watsonian Sidecars are located near the Cotswold village of Blockley. See their full range of sidecars at

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