In August I took a lovely daytrip to Trani, a quiet, sun drenched fishing port on the Adriatic. While walking through town and the port in the late morning/early afternoon there were times I felt like I was walking through a movie set! One of the reasons is because of all the macchine d’epoca or vintage cars that I saw, as well as motorini and biciclette. I have compiled a few photos of these vehicles in this post and, for lack of a better title, I am calling it Ruote di Trani or Wheels of Trani.
I was disappointed because I did not take any photos of my favourite macchina, as every time I saw a Cinquecento, a Fiat 500, it was speeding past me too quick to snap a photo! I have a bit of an obsession with them-but only the old ones. It turns out I actually did photograph one though!
This is a Fiat Cinquecento Giardiniera, also known as the 500K or the Autobianchi Giardiniera. It is basically a Cinquecento station wagon, made from 1960-1977. If you think I am joking, cover the back half of the car, and you will see that the front half is totally 500ish! In 1970, production was transferred to Autobianchi, a Fiat subsidiary in Monza. Later models were branded as Autobianchi rather than Fiat. Notice this one has porte di suicidio or suicide doors, which are hinged at the rear instead of the front. They make it easier to get in and out of the car, but are a safety hazard at higher speeds. I wrote about porte di suicidio here. Notice the bird photobomb in the corner!
The Centoventisei or Fiat 126 was a more modern model to replace the Cinquecento in 1973. The 126 never became as popular. My Zio used to have one that was a Robin’s egg blue. It were very popular in the former eastern bloc countries because of its fuel efficiency. Later models were made in Poland as the Polski 126p.
This ‘vintage’ photo of a white Fiat 126 was taken by me on my previous visit to Trani, in 1994. My Zio had one just like this. I think it even had the same dented front. Thankfully, not much has changed to the look of Trani since 1994!
I spotted this Piaggio Ape (AH·peh) 3 wheeled vehicle at the port. Piaggio also makes the Vespa motorino. An Ape is basically a Vespa with 2 wheels at the back supporting a flatbed. Piaggio started making the Ape in 1948 to fill the post-war need for inexpensive light commercial transport. Ape means bee. I thought it was named for the cute buzzing sound it makes while driving, but it could also be referring to the work ethic of this ‘worker bee’ hardworking vehicle. Api make great delivery vehicles for narrow cobblestone streets and alleyways.