Federico Brozzi’s 1946 Tipo Roma in sheep’s clothing

Another interesting Legnano courtesy of Federico Brozzi from the city of Parma in Italy. It is sometimes the case that Legnano city bikes or Sportivo models have been refinished and refitted as road bikes.  Many times this is to the preference of the owner and regrettably at other times it is for the purpose of deceiving an unknowing customer.

In this case quite the opposite is true.  This Legnano is actually a Tipo Roma from 1946 and the second oldest Roma that is listed on this website.  At some point in the past the bike was refinished and converted to a Sportivo format with nice Cinelli upright handlebars, spring style saddle, a full chain guard and mudguards or fenders to the wheels.

The fenders do not look to be the typical style of the Legnano factory, a little closer to the format of Bianchi but I am not certain of that detail. The pedals where also changed to the city style from Way-Assauto that were used by Legnano and many other Italian brands.  And a lock was added to the mount for the rear brake calliper along with a front light and dynamo on the front fork.

The dual rod Campagnolo Cambio-Corsa shifting system, introduced in 1946, is also the road model on this bike although I understand a sport model with longer levers was also produced.  It is hard to say if the rims are original without a closer look however the Campagnolo Gran Sport hubs that paired up with the Cambio Corsa shifting system do look to be original.

Beyond the condition of the paint, the other indication of the frame having been refinished are the five white bands on the seat tube that were not introduced by Legnano until 1950 and the world champion style Legnano decal on the downtube came after 1946. I also notice that the Legnano head badge of Alberto di Giussano has also been re-pinned a little lower than it would normally be following the refinishing.

So the question in most reader’s minds is why someone would turn a Tipo Roma, the top of the line Legnano model into a city bike?  Well the answer to that question is lost to time as they say.  However it may be that the original owner was moving on in years and chose to convert his old friend rather than give up the bike.  Just speculation.  Grazie mille Federico for sharing this treasure with all of us.


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