Early Open Cab: Restored 1953 Piaggio Ape

This is from the site Bring a Trailer (https://bringatrailer.com/) ...

This 1953 Piaggio Ape is an early, open model that’s reportedly been restored at some point in the past. These utilitarian machines are still in production today after nearly 70 years, though they’ve evolved into enclosed-cab vehicles with a few amenities. Apes (ah-pays) have been put into service around the world as rickshaws, pizza delivery vehicles, and garbage trucks just to name a few, and though the history or running condition of this one isn’t revealed, it looks ready to go. Find it here at ruotedasogno.com in Reggio Emilia, Italy for 14,475 euros (-$15k USD today).

Sage Green is a good match for this little workhorse, and the removable wood-paneled bed extensions are neat too. Paint appears to have been done well, but it also looks like many of the dings and scrapes accumulated from a life of work were left in place–a nice touch. One of the coolest/most terrifying features is the jump seat mounted just to the left of the driver–the passenger gets one foot rest, and a small grip handle between the legs to hold onto. Note also the front suspension setup.

A compartment under the bed houses a spare tire. Note other niceties such as a swing-down tailgate, load tie-down hooks, and shields that protect the running lights from damage.

A 150cc two-stroke powers this machine, and was the most powerful motor that could be optioned at the time. Obviously top speed was never a strong point, but they reportedly made enough torque to climb city hills fairly well.

It would be very cool to see this thing out on the streets somewhere as a shop runabout or even as a small business delivery bike once again, but given its age and history, it will probably end up in someone’s garage. That’d be fine too, but if you bring a passenger on rides, be sure they’re the hearty type.

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