Feature of the week: 1951 Tipo Roma

I thought it would be interesting to post a weekly highlight from time to time of an interesting Legnano that is listed in the serial number archive. In this case a 1951 Tipo Roma (serial no. CT4916), the model that became the Roma Olimpiade following Ercole Baldini’s gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. This absolutely original Roma came up for sale on eBay in August of 2015 and I now regret not buying it however the ‘bike bank’ as I call it had just completed another purchase and need to recoup.

One of the interesting details on this Roma are the Campagnolo rear droupouts that are reinforced around the axle adjusting/stop screws. You don’t see those very often and I am not sure when they retooled or changed the rear lugs and dropped this reinforcing detail. The downtube decal also features the world championship colour bands linking the two Legnano word marks.  This decal seems to have come into use on the Tipo Roma in the mid to late 40’s and may have come to an end with the aforementioned model renaming to the Roma Olimpiade in 1956.

It’s extremely rare to come across a Legnano, or any of the great Italian marques, that has remained for 65 years without modification.  Enjoy.

ct4916_group_sharpened

6 thoughts on “Feature of the week: 1951 Tipo Roma

  1. Hey Scotty and thanks for posting this question as it is a detail that has not been discussed elsewhere on the site.

    Legnano introduced the threaded boss on the back of the seat lug (Roma Olimpiade and Gran Premio models) to mount the rear brake cable stop hanger for the Universal Mod.61 center pull brakes that were launched to the market in 1961 (although there may have been some availability of the Mod.61 brakes in late 1960). Typically the cable stop for the Mod.61 center pull brakes was attached using the seat post binder bolt integrated into the back of the seat lug.

    However because Legnano used a unique and somewhat quirky seat post bolt at the front of the seat lug, it was necessary to braze on this threaded boss to attach the rear brake cable stop, a configuration that I am quite sure was unique to Legnano. This brazing detail on the frame seems to have be been discontinued about 1969, coinciding with the diminishing popularity of the Universal Mod.61 center pull brake callipers.

    Prior to 1961, Roma and Gran Premio models were usually fitted with Mod. 51 side pull brakes, starting in 1951 as you might suspect. Regards, Mark.


  2. I’m almost sad when I read your post, I own that bike that you are showing on this feature of the week. I am right now in the process of restoring all the original parts not adding anything new, making sure to clean up dirt and rust, and of course the original finish and it’s patina. I am familiar with the old saying that a bike is only original once, and I am very sensitive to that. I would love to share some photos when I’m finished

    • Hello Michael,
      Thanks so very much for posting. What an absolutely wonderful Legnano you have acquired. It really doesn’t get any better from my experience and I am still shaking my head wondering how I let it slip by. I am as they say, truly green with envy! That said, I am happy it is being enjoyed and in good hands and that it didn’t get ‘parted out’ on eBay. Yes, please send some photos when you have completed the cleanup to: info@condorino.com
      If along the way you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a line. On that note, if you intend to pull the bottom bracket cups, particularly on the drive side, I would strongly recommend having this done at a pro shop. These guys have some specialized tools that align through the bottom bracket and can remove an old, stubborn drive cup without leaving a mark on it. Something that is hard to do even with a good Campy BB wrench on old stallions like this one.

      Enjoy your treasure and thanks again for posting.
      Mark

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