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Friday, February 27, 2009

Italian Farm Trucks

Rick Gush
Hobby Farms Contributor

My blog is off to a bad start.  I realize I’ve already lied about trucks.

This is an Ape (Ah-Pee) Italian Farm TruckAs cool as my Vespa “farm truck” is, I must officially retract my previous statements, apologise and announce that the Vespa is not in fact the coolest agricultural vehicle possible.

That honor would go to the little three wheeled scooter trucks called Ape (Ah-Pee).

One of my favorite features of the Italian small farmer scene is the way products get to market.

The owner of the Ape in the photo is a local small farmer. 

She has a nice flat piece of ground by one of the smaller creeks that run down from the surrounding hills, and she grows vegetables and a few fruits. 

She also collects and sells flowers and the mixture of wild greens called Preboggin.

She sells some of her products to local restaurants, she has a few regular customers who have standing orders, and she has a little booth at the local daily fruit and vegetable market in the center of town.

To carry her products on deliveries and to the market, she drives her Ape, which is essentially a little truck, built around a scooter.

The handlebar and seat of the scooter are enclosed in a little cabin, and the truck bed behind is about three feet by four feet. There is one wheel in front and two wheels in the rear.

These Ape are by far the most common type of agricultural truck in all of Italy.

I like trucks. I’ve owned a 49 Ford flatbed, a 59 El Camino, a 66 Ranchero, a 72 Chevy pick up, and a 1995 Isuzu Trooper in the states and I drove a Ford 250 Diesel for awhile as a work truck. 

That’s all history now.

These days I can’t wait until I finally get my own three wheeled Ape. Now’s that’s true agricultural chic!

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Italian Farm Trucks

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Reader Comments
For a restored Ape you better go to 'The Great White North' - look here - www.kjjohnson.ca - I restore them - Ken
Ken, International
Posted: 2/10/2014 4:03:53 PM
The Ape is made by a company called Piaggio under the Vespa brand. So you were right on in the first place about Vespa making cool farm trucks. They are still made and used quite widely in India. The one in the picture is a contemporary one. Good luck finding a new one in the US. Another Indian company called Bajaj makes a very similar vehicle. They were imported into the USA by Bajaj USA for a few years in the 2000s. They did an Autorickshaw as well.
Mike, Tucson, AZ
Posted: 10/6/2011 2:47:25 PM
Hi Robert and Monica,

Hmm. That's a good question. I'm not sure where one can buy Ape vehicles in the US. I think some of the Vespa dealers get one in occasionally. You might try:

Euro Imports in Kingston, Ontario, Vespa Vancouver, and Vespa Burlington.

I've heard about an Ape copy that is manufactured:

This is a guy who knows old Apes:

Here's a listing for one for sale a few years ago:

Best of Luck! I think someone should just open up and APE dealership somewhere in the US.

rick, rapallo, YT
Posted: 5/18/2011 8:45:05 AM
i would also like to purchase an APE . PLEASE TELL ME WHERE.

thank you,
robert holloway
Posted: 5/17/2011 6:35:26 PM
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