A 5-wheeled Vespa?

Apes at the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera.
Apes at the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera.

Many scooterists consider the commercial vehicles produced by Innocenti and Piaggio (the same manufacturers as our beloved Lambretta and Vespa) to also have a certain appeal, even if they do feature more than the regulation two wheels!

Vespas and a Pentaro
Vespas, a Pentaro and a jazz band!

Both Piaggio and Innocenti produced 3-wheeled variants of their scooters for trade use. At first these were basically a scooter with an extra wheel and larger carrying capacity, but eventually they morphed into commercial vehicles in their own right.

Piaggio’s Ape, like the Vespa, is still produced today in various forms from 50cc 2-stroke (which a 14-year-old can drive in Italy!) up to larger capacity diesel versions.

Piaggioi Pentaro
Piaggio Pentaro

The strangest however has got to be the Pentaro, an articulated version which featured a tractor unit with 3-wheels, towing a long 2-wheeled trailer. in effect, a 5-wheeled Vespa!

The Piaggio Museum in Pontedera has one on show, a former fire engine, but these days they are a pretty rare sight anywhere in the world. A good job really because I reckon one would look good blocking up the street outside our place!

Vespa, Ape & Pentaro
Vespa, Ape & Pentaro

Until we win the lottery therefore, here are some old press shots to enjoy. We should also direct you to the website of Canadian Ken Johnson who has some amazing images of Apes, or Vespacars as they were also known in some markets. You can start looking through his collection here.

Pentaro and Vespa scooters 1963 Italia maxresdefault




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