1979 Piaggio Ape


  • Presented in very good and exceedingly original condition
  • Has great potential as a business vehicle or piece of advertising
  • Drives well and everything seems to function as it should

The Appeal

It’s fair to say that the Piaggio Ape is nothing short of iconic. This three-wheeled light commercial entered production in 1948 and remarkably is still being produced today! With its small yet torquey 175cc engine mounted at the back and a fully enclosed cab, the Ape was well suited to a myriad of commercial applications and was perfect for navigating ancient Italian settlements.

This 1979 example is delightfully original and coming from the south of Italy, very solid. The vendor informs us that it drives well and everything seems to work exactly as it should. Equipped with a versatile trayback topped by a canvas canopy with opening sides, this is a particularly practical setup which lends itself to street retail and delivery applications. 

The History and Paperwork

  • We’re informed that this Piaggio’s previous owner was in need of a vehicle for business advertising and tracked down this specific Ape as they remembered it as a child
  • As the vehicle lived most of its life in the drier south of Italy, it has escaped corrosion issues
  • We’re informed that it has had just two previous owners from new
  • The previous owner used it to deliver vegetables as well as to advertise their business
  • Recent mechanical service
  • The vendor believes it has covered few kilometres in its lifetime but perhaps more than the odometer suggests

The Interior

  • Basic and utilitarian
  • Steered using handlebars which appear in really good condition
  • The battery is situated on the floor by the offside door
  • Small storage cubbies located each side of the instrument binnacle
  • A portion of the bulkhead has been blown in using silver paint, probably following a repair
  • The black vinyl bench seat remains in very fine shape and should be able to accommodate two passengers
  • Much of the cab is finished in the external colour and no headlining is fitted, but it does have vinyl door cards for a hint of plushness
  • The vendor recalls that all the electrics they tested worked as they should
  • Minimal wear to the controls and upholstery

The Exterior 

  • Attractive yellow paintwork
  • Believed to be very original with a nice patina
  • Very little in the way of corrosion or damage
  • Small repairs have been made to the bottom of the cab over the years
  • The vendor points out that the paint is a little faded in places, but it present really well overall
  • Some of the plastics are cracked and faded but everything seems intact and usable
  • Wooden tray back with a substantial canvas canopy, which is a bespoke recent addition
  • The lift-up side panels make this a great little retail space or local delivery vehicle
  • The three-stud wheels exhibit some patina but are in reasonable condition
  • Underneath, all appears in good order and the chassis looks very sound

The Mechanics 

  • 175cc single cylinder engine
  • These Apes were never known for their speed, but that plucky little engine was designed to be rather torquey for ascending steep terrain while carrying goods
  • The vendor informs us that it has recently received a new clutch as well as brakes
  • Runs well and drives as it should with no issues to report from the vendor’s short test drives


This Ape has great potential as a promotional tool, retails space, delivery vehicle or even a quirky runaround. Whatever it ends up doing, we’re sure it will make all who see it smile.

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This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1979
  • Make Piaggio
  • Colour Yellow
  • Odometer 2,831 Miles
  • Engine size 175
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Town Treviso
  • Location International
  • Country Italy
Bidding history
13 bids from 5 bidders
  • jeremy.•••• €4,100 10/02/23
  • dave.ca•••• €3,800 10/02/23
  • jeremy.•••• €3,500 10/02/23
  • dave.ca•••• €3,200 10/02/23
  • jeremy.•••• €2,800 10/02/23
  • dave.ca•••• €2,400 10/02/23
  • jeremy.•••• €1,900 10/02/23
  • jeppe-f•••• €1,600 09/02/23
  • jeremy.•••• €1,500 08/02/23
  • jeppe-f•••• €1,100 08/02/23

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