The Ape car is a ubiquitous work vehicle that’s iconic in Italy. What the word Ape means in Italian, plus the history of the Ape Car in Italy.
Now that I live in the Italian Alps I hear an Ape zip by my balcony around 5 o’clock every day. Maybe in time, it will get annoying, but right now, it’s full of charm. If you’ve never been to Italy or heard an Ape run, take a listen to the video below. You’ll quickly see where the Ape got its name!
What the Word Ape Means in Italian
Pronounced ‘ah-pay’ the word ape itself means bee or more specifically honeybee in Italian. Therefore, the name Ape was given to those adorable mini motorized Piaggio vehicles in Italy because of the sound they make. Plus, in the same way, a bee buzzing around you cannot be ignored, an Ape will turn heads in Italy.
History of the Ape Car in Italy
After the war, many Italian families were living in poverty. Because of this, Piaggio began producing the Ape in 1948. The designer behind the Vespa came up with the idea of adding a third wheel specifically to balance a rear flatbed across the axle to save production costs. Hence the VespaCar or TriVespa was born.
The cab was added in later models to protect the driver. The VespaCar earned its nickname Ape thanks to the distinctive buzzing sound it makes while zipping around small villages.
Ape Car Photos
Apes are still used as they were traditionally designed by Piaggio to be in Italy. In fact, not a day goes by that I don’t see one of these little work vehicles in my town. In other words in Italy, Apes are iconic.
While in contrast, outside of Italy, you might have seen an Ape and not even know it! Because Apes are so cute and rare outside of Italy, they come across as retro kitsch. Consequently, they are commonly used as food trucks, coffee carts, and breweries on the go!
Now you know!
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Thank you for stopping by! A very colorful universe you have.
I wondered what those were called! Ape is a funny name!
Agree. Reading the title, I really think Brandy wrote about some kind of ape in Italy. Didn’t expect to see these colourful Apes 😛
That’s too funny! Funnier still would have been a bunch of colorful apes (meaning the animal) in the wild!
I love the name because you always hear them (buzzing away) before you see them!