Beer to Go: 1990 Piaggio APE 50 – Sold?
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February 27, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
After a certain point, you may find yourself getting burned out in the collector car market. Whether missing out on a project car deal of a lifetime by just a few minutes or losing faith after yet another inflated sale for a car that used to trade for peanuts, there could be the temptation to find a less conventional model that opens up all sorts of new possibilities for your vehicular hobby. Allow us to introduce you to the Piaggio Ape. That’s right, the Ape – a three-wheeled contraption that is as JDM as it gets, and in the case of our subject vehicle spotted on Craigslist in January 2023 in Deer Park on Long Island, it’s been retrofitted to serve as a keg on wheels. The seller asked $15,000 and comparing that price against the Classic.com model guide shows us that the price is still below the going rate of $18,295:
The marketplace for JDM vehicles has gotten a bit crowded as of late, with vehicles cast aside by their owners overseas as just another tired used car that gets fluffed and buffed for a quick flip here in the states. We’ve discussed before how the number of Toyota Crowns, Mitsubishi Delicas, and others has ballooned as of late after long being considered a vehicle reserved for a select few. You can now find any unusual Japanese-market vehicles littering Craigslist and other classifieds pages, likely for a substantial discount over what the first owner paid. That being said, there are still some exclusive vehicles out there that command a fair price, either due to rarity or some other factor that makes it a hard vehicle to come by. The Piaggio APE certainly fits into that category, and this one has been retrofitted to serve beer and wine at social gatherings, with what looks like a very nice custom enclosure on the back bed.
The Jalopnik YouTube Channel features this video by Jason Torchinsky driving a typical Piaggio Ape, what he refers to as Italy’s F-150:
The Ape hasn’t been as widely adopted in the U.S. as one might expect, especially considering that young people tend to cluster in cities. A compact vehicle that’s easy to park and has plenty of utility might be an appealing option over a new car. Our subject vehicle has been converted to a mobile beer/wine cart. It shows how automotive enthusiasts could retrofit one of these pickup trucks into anything they like, from a parts runner to use in the pits at the local track or as a rolling display for anything ranging from a mobile margarita mixer to a hot dog stand on three wheels and perfect for tailgating purposes. The price for this unusual conveyance struck me as high, not because of any one flaw, but because the market for something like this is so narrow that it’s hard to put a number on it that both pays respect to the excellent condition while also acknowledging the buyer pool is pretty limited. Even so, wherever this Piaggio goes next, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
“Custom 90’s Piaggio ape scooter converted to a mobile beer/wine tap.
perfect for parties and events.
Three versus four: if you needed an in-town run-about, would you consider a Piaggio?