1961 Gran Premio – EX3632

IMG_3833

Of the two road bikes that Legnano exported to North America, the ‘Gran Premio’ was the most popular and most affordable. The ‘Gran Premio’ lacked the Campagnolo Record Crankset and a bit of the finishing of their top-of-the-line ‘Roma Olimpiade’ but otherwise the two bikes were very much the same. This particular ‘Gran Premio’ was a west coast eBay find several years ago and it is now in the skillful hands of Noah Rosen of Vélocolour for a complete restoration. Most importantly it was a complete bike with only minor modifications over the years that can be easily corrected.

I am dating this ‘Gran Premio” to 1961.  The date stamps on the inside arms of the Magistroni cranks are marked ’60’ and the serial number on the frame (EX3632) supports a 60/61 production date along with the original Universal 61 brakes that first showed in that same year. What is most interesting is the decal on the downtube from the Hidden Valley Bicycle Store of Escondido, California that is still in business today. The Hidden Valley shop opened their doors in 1961 and so this ‘Gran Premio’ was most likely one of the first Legnano bikes on the floor. As new businesses go, it was probably one the more expensive bikes on the floor in that first year of business.

IMG_3860

 

Here is a blueprint of the bike as originally acquired:

Model:  Gran Premio
Year:  1961
Serial No:  EX3632 (stamped vertically on right side of the seat lug)
Frame Size:  56cm (ctc)
Frame Weight:  3.285kg or 7.24lbs (no headset, seatpost bolt or bb)
Tubing:  Falck
Dropouts:  Campagnolo
Crankset:  Magistroni 50/47 (stamped 60 on inside of the arms)
Bottom Bracket:  Magistroni
Pedals:  na
Front Derailleur:  Campagnolo Gran Sport
Rear Derailleur:  Campagnolo Gran Sport
Shifters:  Campagnolo Record
Freewheel:  Regina Corsa (14-17-20-23-26)
Chain:  Regina
Hubs:  Simplex HF 36H
Rims:  Fiamme Yellow Label 36 hole clincher 27in x 1 1/8in Schrader
Handlebars:
Handlebar Stem:
Headset:  Magistroni
Brakeset:  Universal Mod.61 Centerpull
Seatpost: na
Seat: na

8 thoughts on “1961 Gran Premio – EX3632

  1. So nice to see a similar model. I have inherited my father’s Legnano Roma Olypiade that he purchased new in 1959/60. It has been garaged for a long period of time, but appears to have minimal (if any) changes to it. Simply because of the rarity I am having trouble determining its value. What would you estimate a ballpark figure for the model in average but complete/nearly complete condition? I would certainly appreciate any input.

    • Well, that’s a big question without a few pics to assess the condition. Having said that, it could range from $800 to $1800 and potentionally more in top, original condition. Send me a few pics and the serial number and I can give you a better idea. May also be interested if you are going to part with it. If your dad still remembers where he first bought the bike, that is good history to keep with it.

      • I knew that was a loaded question. The serial number is EO1935. The bicycle has a Jones Bike Shop sticker from Long Beach, CA on it (I believe I remember him saying he bought it from there). I’m not sure how to send a few pics to you. All I can do is leave a reply. Any suggestions?

  2. I would be interested in the SIZE of the seat post. I assume the post and the saddle are not orig to this bike? I have a 1962 that takes a 25-1 or 25-4? post. John Crump

  3. This 1961 Gran Premio takes a 26.4mm diameter seatpost like almost all Legnano bikes that were produced from Falck tubing, their prime supplier over many years. Sometimes you may find that someone has used a 26.2mm post as the unique Legnano binder bolt will still retain the slightly small diameter.

    Having said that, both the 1959 Roma Olimpiade Campagnolo and the 1966 Roma Olimpiade Campagnolo on this site are produced with Falck tubing and take a 27.0mm seatpost. An early Bozzi parts catalog that I have shows a Falck ‘Extra Legeri’ tubing set that could account for the difference of a thinner walled tubing on these competition models.

    Another exception are some of the Legnano Roma Olimpiade and Roma Specialissima frames produced in the late 60’s through to the late 70’s from Reynolds 531 tubing. These 531 frames take a 27.2mm diameter seat post, including the 1969 Roma shown on this site.

    I have also ‘seen’ a picture of a Roma Olimpiade bike with a Columbus tubing sticker however I have not been able to verify if Legnano ever used Columbus tubing and this may have just been a case of a Columbus tubing decal having been applied to the frame by the owner.

    Hope this help, Mark.

  4. Thanks for the great website, it’s been motivating for me on a couple Roma Olimpiade projects! Is the blue cable the original color or was it gray on the blue Roma and Grand Premio bicycles?

  5. Yes it was blue, in fact Legnano colour matched the cable housing to the frame colour on pretty much all of the city and road bikes from the mid 50s through to the late 60’s and early 70’s.

  6. My first ‘ten speed’ was a Legnano Gran Premio purchased in 1961 from Ace Bike Shop in Long Beach, Ca. I paid $110.00 for it. The top tier Roma sold for $180.00 and was completely out of my reach.

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