1953 Piaggio Ape Calessino
At the end of World War II, most Italians were badly affected by the war, and the country found itself with neither vehicles nor the financial ability to acquire what 4-wheeled transport survived. In 1947, the inventor of the Vespa, aircraft designer Corradino D'Ascanio, decided upon a visionary concept to build a light three-wheeled commercial vehicle to power Italy's economic reconstruction. The idea found favour with Enrico Piaggio, son of the firm's founder, Rinaldo Piaggio, and funding was provided. The very first two Ape models were mechanically a Vespa with two wheels added to the rear, with a flat-bed structure on top of the rear axle. The early sales brochures and adverts referred to the vehicle as the VespaCar or TriVespa. The first Apes featured 50 cc 125 cc or 150 cc engines, and more recently 175 cc engines. The 1964 Ape D benefited from a driver’s cab for protection to elements. The Ape has been in continuous production since its inception and has been produced in a variety of different body styles in Italy and India. The name refers to the work ethic of this vehicle – "ape" in Italian means "bee".
This beautiful example has been professionally restored and comes with an official declaration of Piaggio vintage vehicles, confirming this Calessino was originally built for passenger transport (not commercial).
Any Calessino is extremely very rare to find, and of the few that come to, most have been built from a commercial version, making this vehicle particularly remarkable. (see attached E-mail from Piaggio Vintage Division).
Being an authorised passenger vehicle, it’s early years were confined as a Taxi between Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino, and the original registration plate is stamped GE, for Genoa. Poor quality B&W photos are on hand of vehicle in use as a taxi.
Click the link below to view hi-res images of this extremely rare vehicle
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Stock No: AP-APE2
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