Almost three years later, what a great restoration project this has been. This was the very first vintage Legnano that I purchased and imported from Rome. What a sight it was when I unpacked the battered, second-hand cardboard box that arrived at my doorstep. The picture on the previous page was a quick first assembly taken the same day to check that nothing had fallen out ‘en route’ to Toronto. It was, as they say, a bike that had been well used and well loved over the course of 50+ years and it now had a new owner, a new home and a new lease on life.
Despite the overall worn condition, the best thing about this old ‘condorino’ was that it was 100% intact and unchanged. Not one piece missing or ‘changed out’ from the day it first rolled out of the factory. Due to climate or perhaps its resting place at the end of the day, there was also very, very little if any rust on this bike. However, there was a lot of old tar-like, road grime protecting many of the components and fitments that would require hours of soaking and careful scrubbing to eventually reach the shiny chrome and aluminium surfaces.
It was my intention to maintain the classic ‘lizard yellow’ Legnano paint scheme however as the months passed I acquired another ‘lizard yellow’ 1967 Mod. 50 Gran Sport in beautiful condition that did not require refinishing. So what to do? I have managed to acquire a number of original Legnano sales catalogs over the years and discovered that Legnano models were available in classic black . . . and so black it would be for this restoration.
Consulting the catalogs, I also noticed the only difference between the Mod.50 and the Mod.53 was the addition of Ambrosio dropped road bars and stem, Mod.39 Universal brake levers and the Way-Assauto steel road pedals. Fortunately I had all of these original components in my collection of spare parts. Like the Mod.50, the Mod.53 was a four speed configuration and an entry level road bike or ‘junior racer’ intended for ‘spirited’ riding and weekend outings. The Mod.53 was positioned in the Legnano model lineup just below the Gran Premio, Legnano’s highly popular amateur road bike.
more to come . . .
Here’s a blueprint of the bike as restored:
Model: Gran Sport Mod.50/53
Serial No: EP9460
Frame Size: 56cm ctc
Crankset: 48t Magistroni for Legnano (replated)
Bottom Bracket: Magistroni
Pedals: Way-Assauto WAS (nos)
Rear Derailleur: Campagnolo Sport
Shifter: Campagnolo Gran Sport (braze on)
Freewheel: Reginal Extra (15/17/19/21)
Chain: Regina Extra
Hubs: Campagnolo Gran Sport Low Flange 36h
Rims: 622 x 22 DIN Beretta 28 x 1.75 (nos)
Tires: Deestone Gumwall 700c x 28 (modern)
Handlebars: Ambrosio for Legnano 38cm
Stem: Ambrosio for Legnano 100mm
Brakeset: Universal Model 39 (long reach) Brev. 361686
Seat: Brooks B17 (modern)
Rear Rack: Velo Orange (modern)