It is always exciting when a new Legnano joins the collection. This 1961 Gran Premio is currently en route from San Leandro, California courtesy of our friend eBay. Until it arrives only partial details are available however much of the bike appears to be original with the exception of the fenders, brake cable housing, pedals, seat and seat post. It should be an easy task to correct these components as most are already in the parts bin with the exception of the fenders.
This Gran Premio is also fitted with the integrated pump ‘umbrella’ clip on the Campagnolo Record down tube shifters and matching cable guide/stop at the BB, a very nice detail for the period. The bike also appears to be fitted with clincher rims for tubes with Schrader valves. I am anticipating the rims will either be Ambrosio or Weinmann and possibly 27 inch rather than 700c, a format that Legnano sometimes used on the Gran Premio models without tubular tires for export to the USA. Here are a few more pics of the bike as I wait for it to arrive.
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I love this website. It has been so helpful in helping me learn more about my Legnano.
I have a 1961 Gran Premio unrestored but in beautifully preserved condition. It has the brass head badge with the 5 rivets, all original paint and decals. The brakes are Universal Mod 61. The serial # is 3658 and is posted vertically on the seat post. The pedal crank arm has 60 stamped on it. So all of this leads me to believe about 1961 Gran Premio. It is the only one I have seen in this color (silver with red pin stripes).
Do you think my assessment is correct that it is a 1961 Gran Premio in a rare color for that model? I have 39 photos and can send you a link. I wasn’t sure if it would be appropriate to post a link here. I would be happy to let you add this bicycle’s info, photos and serial # to your registry.
Thanks for the post. Feel free to send the link of photos to email@example.com and I will do my best to answer your questions. In the meantime I can say that the silver paint finish with the red bands on the seat tube was not a common colour scheme for Legnano and personally I have not come across very many in North America. Having said that, it was a very popular colour scheme on Frejus bicycles, the other brand of bicycles that was produced by Emilio Bozzi S.p.A from 1947 (after it was acquired from Emmo Gelfi who originally founded Frejus in 1896).
Thanks so much for your gracious reply. I will email the link to the photos right now. Any more feedback you could give after seeing them would be greatly appreciated. I want to learn as much as possible about this beautiful bicycle. And, by all means let me know if there is anything I can do to help you too. I’d love to see your informative website grow.
Thank you for sending along the photos of your wonderful Legnano Gran Premio. It is a real treat to see an early model in such pristine condition. I am very curious as to the history of the bike if this is known to you. For the benefit of other readers, here are a couple of photos for everyone to enjoy.
I would confirm that the production year of this Legnano to 1961. The date stamps on the inside of the Magistroni crank arms reference 1960 however these can often predate the bike by a year. This Gran Premio was also built for export to the North American market based on the clincher style rims for Schrader valves that are fitted to this bike. The seat and seat post are not original to the bike, the original seat was most likely a Brooks B17 leather model fitted to a standard steel seat post. Perhaps you still have the original seat and post? Obviously the handlebar tape is a modern type along with the plastic hoods on the brake levers.
Once again, that you for writing and sharing your beautiful Legnano with everyone. If you have any other questions, I would be more than happy to help.
Thanks so much for your feedback Mark. The only history I know on the bike is our own history for the past 15 years. We bought it at an estate sale 15 years ago and it has been on display in our home ever since, along with the rest of our vintage bicycle collection, which also includes several Peugeot’s, a Miele, a Schwinn Le Tour II and others. We’ve been collecting bikes for a long time. Aside from a little cleaning, this Legnano was in pristine condition when we bought it and it is in good enough shape to ride even with all of it’s 55 year old parts. As far as the seat, we do still have the one that was on it when we bought it. It is a Selle Italia Super Turbo. We don’t have the original seat post.