The scrappy Ape (pronounced 'AH-pay') has been a vital piece of Italy's economic infrastructure for decades. The name, which could be a liability elsewhere, means 'bee' in Italian. Perhaps it's a reference to the annoying sound they make.
The Ape is kind of a cross between a pickup truck and a Vespa (same manufacturer).
Its thin chassis makes it perfect for navigating the tiny ancient side streets of many Italian towns.
Great for transporting watermelons, or you can convert it into...
...a trash hauler...
...or an ice cream stand.
Plus it's faster than a speeding jogger.
-- Big Ape photo gallery (Five wheels with elephant)
-- Extreme Ape Racing!
-- A German guy toured Europe and crossed the Alps in an Ape (Translation, English PDF)
-- Hot-Dog Ape for sale
-- Ape and Piaggio history from 3wheelers.com (lots of photos of nutty vehicles here)
-- A new model, the Ape Web is not Internet-ready. Auto-translation: "It is the moment to start the logon with your friends, is the moment to enter in the net, is the moment to discover Ape Web."
-- The Ape Cross Country is the "most trendy" model, as it lets you transport your surfboard or snowboard while listening to the radio, says the site. You really need to see the TV commercial to understand the excitement these vehicles are generating among today's youth.