Friday, December 05, 2008

1956 Piaggio Ape (ahh pay), resurected from a Casper, Wyoming neglected barn find Basically Vespa scooters fitted with twin rear wheels (chain driven) and a load platform above them

With a factory 6 volt electrical system, Paul decided something brighter was needed, and went with a 12volt hi-lo beam for the top spot light
This series of 5 photos follows the fuel tank filler, from the cream color gas cap above to the tank and how it fits into the cockpit

The below shows the customized pedal on the left that isn't part of the factory design... and the good looking rubber strips on the floorboard

Below the seat is mocked up in place, great diamond design, ( coincidentally? ) diamond plate is looking ready for work as the new rear platform

Friction shock absorbers

These shots are to show the suspension without the engine in the way.
Bought for $50, and the removal of it from the farm.
The Piaggio Ape is the answer to postwar transportation in a country of small roads and people who needed something small that would get the goods moved, and pass each other on the road. In view of the small roadside fresh produce stands, and small goods in farmers markets, an Ape will do the job very well and not be a gas hog. 4 speeds forward, and reverse.
Paul's brother Dave was told about the Ape by a friend, because Dave is a scooter freak, but after getting the Ape home and assessing the condition, he passed it on to Paul. It's come a long way..., there was only one 1/2 of a good side to the glove box.
Vespa and Piaggio links:
These two in yellow are of the museum of Piaggio's and Vespas has a full list of Vespa Serial Numbers By Year: 1946-1971 including Vespa serial numbers, by year, at the end are serial prefixes for Vespa models marketed in North America by Sears & Roebuck (primarily as the Allstate.)
If you have one to add to a registry:

1 comment:

  1. This was a revolutionary concept car when it was designed in the 1950's obtaining a simple idea from the world famous Scooter design. Vespa has been the trensetter of quick and convient transportation, coupled with fuel efficiency, just by harnessing a simple idea of a scooter, basically a childs toy which had been used for almost centuries, this same toy was later modified to be the skateboard of today.
    Vespa or Ape's tricar design set the trend for most of the fuel efficient cars of today. In the 1970's it set a new trend in the form of Suzuki Carry and pickups built in Japan. Later this design coupled with a lot of research in car safety structures led to the creation of the SMART car, a partnership between Swatch and Mercedes Benz, to work on an Art project. Having to call it Swatch Mercedes Art would have been a bit of a tongue twister, so they decided to shorten it by taking the first letters from both companies and ending it with Art i.e. S M Art. Each design was a further improvement or an evolution in design.