TG mag races a Piaggio Ape
We go endurance racing in a three-wheeled, rear-wheel drive, bright red Italian design icon
Posted: 28 Aug 2013
While he's out there, another Ape retires with mechanical problems. Max is impervious to such things and continues to stretch our lead until, an hour and a half after we started, he takes the chequered flag. He pulls over, loads the rest of us into the pickup bed and commences a victory lap. At speed. But while we're taking the applause and squeezing ourselves onto the top step of the podium to pose for photos, a pale blue racing Ape pulls out of the paddock and onto the road.
Turns out the owner drove here, got stuck into the race and will drive it home again. He'll do the same for the next five races. All for about £6,000 per season... including the price of the Ape. In F1, that sort of money would buy you a wheelnut or something. Admittedly, the Ape might not do 200mph or earn you the company of a grid girl, but it will probably put a larger smile on your face. And after a few margherita deliveries, it might even pay for itself...