History of the Tuk Tuk

Updated: Dec 13, 2019

In 1934 Japan produced three wheelers that were exported to Thailand. They went out of use towards the end of the 1960's.

But Tuk Tuk's didn't really take off until 1947 when the Piaggio Ape Tuk Tuk was born. Designed by the inventor of Vespa and aircraft designer at Piaggio, Corradino D'Ascanio, made the Ape an affordable, lightweight three-wheeled commercial vehicle which could be used as Italy rebuilt post war.

There are many different designs and variations of Tuk Tuks, but the most common is constructed from a metal body or frame resting on three wheels. A drivers cab, canvas roof and curtains make up the rest of a traditional Tuk Tuk. A Tuk Tuk has handlebar controls and usually a motorcycle engine.

Some Tuk Tuks are designed solely to carry passengers and others cargo. Today many Tuk Tuks are converted for many other uses, including mobile bars etc.

Tuk Tuks are widely used in Asia, Africa and the Middle East but are also popular in Europe, especially Italy, home of the Piaggio Ape.

If you would like to know more about Tuk Tuks or would like to experience going on one for yourself, please contact us at or call 01983 329241.



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© 2020 by The Isle Of Wight Tuk Tuk Co. Limited

The Isle Of Wight Tuk Tuk Tuk Co. Limited, Woodberry House, 2 Woodberry Grove, Finchley, London, N12 0DR, UK. 

Company number: 12192939