Cold Start: Meet The Ape Poker


You know Piaggio, right? They make the famous three-wheeled truck called the Ape, which is Italian for bee, Italy’s true workhorse that hauls pretty much everything, everywhere. They’re fantastic. They also made a four-wheeled variant called the Apepoker, which is impossible to not read as “ape-poker” as in someone who pokes large gorillas. And that’s hard not to laugh at.

Here, look how it looks in print:

Apepoker, apepoker, apepoker. It is a cool little truck, a sort of convergent evolution example to Japan’s Kei-class trucks.

Also, I once was driving through Italy for the Mille Miglia in a Jaguar F-Type and stopped in the middle of the Parmigano region and convinced a wonderful farming family to let me drive their Ape:

I had to explain myself with Google translate and hand gestures, but somehow it all worked.

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18 Responses

    1. In India they pronounce this like ah-pay. But they also pronounce coupe wrong like the British do. Cou-pay.

      But ape poker is much more fun. If my job was to poke apes, I would rather do it with a little bit of sheet metal in between us, and perhaps an engine to help me escape should (when) things turn bad. Some of those Piaggios are quick. Like 40-50 mph, which feels like you’re going 100.

      My vote is an implement used to poke apes.

      1. For several decades i thought cou-pay was the *correct* way to say it,and that’s how the french pronounced it.
        It’s only in the last couple of years i learned the truth! So embarrassing

  1. I’ve heard about not poking the bear but I’m not sure what the protocol is for an ape. I imagine if you value your life it’s a bad idea. Or are we talking about apes playing cards? Obviously, if art has taught me anything dogs know how to play poker but I have no context for apes. Or maybe I’m really overthinking this. Anywho, have a great day folks!!

  2. Seeing these little trucks always reminds me of my last Navy duty station- we had several tiny trucklets and a couple “vanlets” of the same dimensions, used to shuttle supplies and parts from the warehouse to the pier and back. One day a rather portly civilian warehouse guy was delivering a load of parts to a barge at the pier when his brakes failed. He went down the pier screaming “no brakes”, hit the pier scupper, bounced up and over the edge into the river. A couple sailors jumped in to drag him out of the truck. The rest of us watched as he and the sailors crawled back onto the pier and the trucklet sank to the river bottom. A pier crane was used later that day to fish it out. No one was hurt save for the warehouse guy’s pride (and his skivvies, I suspect).

  3. Random and slightly unrelated, Piaggio also sold the 7th. generation Daihatsu HiJet kei-trucks as the Piaggio Porter, with tiny diesel engines as options.
    They even made an electric version. Production of the HiJet-based Piaggio Porter ended in 2020 and now they make a rebadged Chinese Foton truck as the 2nd. gen Piaggio Porter.

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