Three Wheel Piaggio Flower Power Camper
Three wheel Piaggio Ape utility cart with cab over camper with a flower paint on the side.
The Piaggio Ape is Italian for bee, is a three-wheeled light commercial vehicle produced by Piaggio since 1948. When WWII ended many Italians lacked modes of transportation. The economy was also very weak, so to fill this need Corradino D’Ascanio the inventor of the Vespa, came up with the idea of a light 3 wheel commercial vehicle. Enrico Piaggio liked the idea and decided to manufacture these economical and small vehicles. The first production Ape was basically a Vespa with two wheels and a flat bed added to the scooter. Around 1964 a cab was added to provide environmental protection for the driver. The Ape has been in production since 1948.
The vehicle is controlled by handlebar or can be converted to accommodate a steering wheel. Originally the Ape was built for a single occupant, a second person could be added but it is really cramped. There is a door on either side for easy access and exit. Which is important if used as a delivery vehicle. The engine are not very powerful and therefore not very fast. High torque ratio help with navigating hills.
The small size allows the Ape to find it’s way around town with the ability to travel down narrow roads. These utility vehicles are quite popular in India and often used as a rickshaw. Because of the popularity the Piaggio plant has moved it manufacturing from Italy to India
The company Piaggio was established in 1884 and built rail and locomotive trains. In WWI it also produced aircraft. After the devastation in WWII Piaggio quit building aircraft and focused providing affordable modes of transportation. In 1946 the first Vespa was introduced to the public. Vespa is Italian for “Wasp”. Within 10 years there were nearly one million Vespa produced.
Expanding on the success of the Vespa the Ape transport was born. A lightweight, economical commercial vehicle that could easily navigate busy streets and into the country was added. There are hundreds of application for the versatile vehicle including the one picture here.
Home built camper
The Ape is equipped with a cab over camper that is ready for any outdoor adventure. It is easily identifiable with the flower graphic on the side. Since there is probably no camper manufacture that build a camper for this vehicle it is a do-it-yourself home built camper. Although this does look like a great idea, there could be cause for concern in regards to stability, especially when it come to the cab over section balanced over one wheel. Don’t rock the boat when in the cab over.