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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

These beautiful and scarce Italian scooters nearly extinct (Part-1)

The spaghetti country, Italy is indeed famous as the place where so many beautiful scooters were born. Countless scooter brands are present and enliven the two-wheeled vehicle market shortly after World War 2 ended were coming from the country with the most prominent brands' are Piaggio with its Vespa scooters and Innocenti with Lambretta. Then there are also several other brands such as Ducati, Moto Rumi, Carnielli Vittoria, MV Agusta, and many others.
The scooters atmosphere in Rome around the 1950s in William Klein's camera shots. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2puffZ3)
The existence of some of these Italian scooter brands in their heyday had above-average product quality so that the price also became more expensive than Vespa and Lambretta which could be called established brands at that time. With a slightly more expensive price so that these brands can not compete in the world scooter market which was then controlled by Piaggio and Innocenti. Thus by slowly but surely, they disappear from circulation.😢

Now, We will be discussed again several Italian brands that have ever been enlivened the world scooter market in the 1950s, as follows:

1. Bianchi
Bianchi, one of the first motorcycle manufacturers based in Milan, Italy was founded by Edoardo Bianchi in 1885. The company was started its business as a bicycle producer.

One of the scooter products from this manufacturer is Orsetto, a scooter that has a tubular frame, steel body, and a short wheelbase with small-sized wheels. And then this simple and lightweight scooter uses a small 80 cc engine.

The company started to make the scooter production research in August 1959 and the scooter was launched in April 1960 at the Milan Trade Fair. But unfortunately, because of the financial crisis, the manufacturer ceased production in 1962.😢
1962 Bianchi Orsetto. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2oHQb00)
In the UK, this type of scooter named Roma and made under-licensed by famous British bicycle manufacturer Raleigh started 1961 to 1964.

2. Gianca
Gianca was a historical Italian scooter company, based in Monza even though the motorcycle industry was relatively inactive. Its first and only product was known as Nibbio 100, and is also the first scooter was built in 1947 before Lambretta.
1946 Gianca Nibbio 100 at the 2017 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2WMnhIU)
The Nibbio 100 was designed by engineer Scarpa. In one of his first versions with a two-stroke, 98 cc engine mounted on a tubular chassis, similar to that used after the Innocenti for the Lambretta. It was clear that with this project manufacturers Gianca sought to put a product on the market that could counter the Piaggio with its Vespa, then also had to confront the Nibbio with other Italian motorcycle companies, including the Innocenti the Isothermos and Officine Giesse.
1946 Gianca Nibbio 100 at the 2017 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/34t0zrS)
In 1949, despite the great propaganda made especially for posters, the Nibbio failed to meet the favor of the market, it then took on the one hand the company to close its doors and the other to sell the project a new company: San Christopher in Milan. San Christopher, Having bought the rights to this project, changed some of its shares, both were propelled by a 125 cc with valve discs, but also on the body. Despite these measures to improve the performance of this new project, as the former was once again totally bankrupt. In 1952 was made a further amendment, even though as regards the name, in fact, it was made into Simonetta. Also In 1952, the San Christoforo Nibbio by Simonetta was built in France under the name Ravat.😢

3. Toscan
This scooter was present at almost the same time as the Gianca Nibbio 100. The sleek Toscan scooter was built only two nearly identical copies. As the name implies, this scooter was made in 1949 in Tuscany, Italy by the unknown manufacturer (if You have information about this scooter, let's we know).
1949 Toscan 98 cc scooter. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2NCfdWS)
As quoted from the book titled 'Scooters Made in Italy,' written by Vittorio Tessera, there are 2 similarities that the Tuscan scooter has with the Gianca Nibbio scooter, it same manually assembled (by handmade) and using the same 2-stroke engine with a capacity of 98 cc.

4. Tunin Prina 
This scooter manufacturer was founded by Antonio Prina shortly after World War 2 ended and named Tunin Prina. The company made a leap in production from bicycle production to motorcycles and scooters. For the production of the scooter, they did very well and chose the 'Gran Lusso' acronym for its scooter product.
1951 Prina Orix 175GL at the 2017 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2WMnhIU)
In 1951 the manufacturer launched a scooter model named Prina Orix 175 GL (Gran Lusso) which the maker claimed as 'Il gioiello degli scooter' or jewel scooter because it was equipped with all the best at that time such as large-diameter motorcycle type wheels a very rigid, single beam steel frame, body shells with smooth and futuristic shapes, abundant chrome. Besides this, this scooter uses a 2-stroke 175 cc JLO engine that is capable of producing power up to 8.1 horsepower and is integrated with a 4-speed manual transmission system.
1951 Prina Orix 175GL at the 2017 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2CaYZyA)
The result was that the price was very high, at 265,000 Lire on the list in 1952, when Lambretta was valued at 166,000 and Vespa 150,000. Although Orix can be considered beautiful because the price is too high so it could not reap success in the market and slowly disappeared. But now this scooter is sought after by collectors.

5. SAI Ambrosini
The Freccia Azzura scooter designed and built by engineer Giuseppe Del Bianco using a 125 cc Puch split single with a three-speed gearbox driving via a chain. The machine had telescopic forks.
1952 SAI Ambrosini or Freccia Azzura scooter at the 2017 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2WMnhIU)
Introduced at the Milan Show of 1951, finances proved a problem and the following year he received support from Ambrosini of Passignano and it was built in their factory. Might be this why the Freccia Azzura scooter is also known as the Ambrosini scooter.
1952 SAI Ambrosini or Freccia Azzura scooter. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2NwcjCQ)
In 1952 they changed to a Sachs 142 cc engine with a four-speed gearbox, and improved performance. The scooter was aimed at the high end of the market and nearly twice the price of the equivalent Vespa or Lambretta. (Wanna see the next part.)

Kept spur your adrenaline on the power of the two-wheeled monster and stay alive with true safety riding. May God will forgive Your sins and so does the cops...... *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SCOOTERHOOD | WOIWEB | PROVA MAGAZIN  | MALAGUTI | MOTOCICLISMO | MOTOPARILLA | MOTORCYCLE CLASSICS]
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