1965 Piaggio Ape
Necessity is the mother of invention, and in post WW2 desperation she was also responsible for the Piaggio Ape. Corradino D'Ascanio, aircraft designer and inventor of the Vespa, saw the need for 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".
The current owner of this 65 model Ape acquired it in early 2015 from a London based Vespa importer. It arrived in original but neglected condition, and was delivered to a classic vehicle restorer in Holmfirth (UK) to undergo a no-expense back-to-original restoration. The restoration process was time consuming and demanding, sourcing original items from across the globe and/or reproducing parts from photos and remnants of deteriorated parts.
Originally planned as a display piece for the owners business premises in Venice, the restoration took longer than anticipated by which time the Italian interest had been sold and the beautiful Ape became surplus to the owner’s requirements. Far too spectacular to become a garage ornament, the little Ape was displayed with restored classics in a museum type environment, where, despite being surrounded with the likes of Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Jaguar etc, the diminutive Ape attracts most interest and is the centrepiece of most photographs.
Located in the UK, this beautiful time-piece of Italian automotive history is now offered for sale. Authenticated by the Vespa Club Register, the advertised price excludes shipping.
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Stock No: OG-APE
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