This original and ‘unmolested’ Frejus ‘Sport Lusso’ model (luxury sport in English) has just recently arrived courtesy of her former owner Mario Erlotti of Milan. The production year of this Frejus has been dated to 1951/52 and is fitted with all of its original components with the exception perhaps of the saddle and the tires which are typical wear items.
Wikipedia (IT) states that negotiations began on or about 1948 with Emilio Bozzi SpA to acquire the Frejus brand from Emmo Gelfi, however Frejus is not shown as a Bozzi brand alonside Legnano, Wolsit and Perla in the massive Bozzi parts catalog of 1950.
Frejus production, that would have included this ‘Sport Lusso’ was still ongoing at their production facilities in Turin at the start of 1950’s however all production had moved to the Legnano factory at Corso Genova, 9 in Milan by the end of that decade.
Some photos to enjoy as I return to develop this post a little later.
Way-Assauto headset branded (knurled) for Frejus. A Dansi front light has been fitted and powered by a Radius dynamo on the right front fork. It was common at the time for the front light bracket to come with the bike (installed at the factory with the headset) and the front light and dynamo purchased separately by the customer at the local shop.
The fender tail light and related wiring on the city bikes was often installed at the factory as it ran internally through the down tube, exiting at the bottom bracket and then up and along the underside rolled edge of the rear fender. Needless to say it is a bit of job to replace this rear light wiring if it has failed or as part of a restoration project.
Balilla brake callipers branded for Frejus.
Way-Assauto hubs branded for Frejus. The aluminium clincher style rims are branded Marzorati Varedo (Varedo is a Comune located about 15km north of Milan). Noting here that it was the Marzorati family that purchased Ambrosio in 1961, suggesting that both companies were in the business of producing bicycle rims.
The Palma leather saddle is in great condition and correct to the period of the bike however it was typical for Frejus to have their saddles ‘branded’ with their own name during these years, irrespective of the actual manufacturer, so I suspect it may be a replacement rather than the factory fitting.
The Ambrosio stem and bars are also fitted with beautifully integrated duralluminio ‘Tipo 49’ brake levers bearing the Ambrosio logo and patent marking Brev. 4447. Ambrosio is considered one of the Italian pioneers in the use of aluminium for bicycle parts and produced a range of high-quality handlebars and stems. Ambrosio was founded in 1923 and acquired by Tecnologia del Tubo Torino (T.T.T.) in 1961.
The crankset and bottom backet is from Way-Assauto (W.A.) and branded for Frejus. Part. No. 1954 in the Emilio Bozzi catalog of 1950. The pedals are most likely from Way-Assauto also.
The cream coloured ‘ghosting’ under the Frejus head badge and decal bands on the seat tube and down tube where embellishments assigned to the ‘Sport Lusso’ model.
Simplex of Italy ‘Champion du Monde’ plunger style rear derailleur with a single jockey wheel is coupled to a Way-Assauto triple sprocket freewheel. The rear brake cable is internally routed through the top tube and the rear derailleur cable is routed through the downtube just below the shifter and exits from the chain stay as shown in the photo above.
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