Jim brings up an interesting point regarding the seat tube decal varations. I have often wondered why there are so many people who think that the Masi America seat tube decal was introduced in 1976 and was related to the Bicentennial. I mentioned this earlier, but the Masi American seat tube bands were there from the beginning and were made in Italy just like the rest of the Masi decals we used at the time. Ron Smith and I used them randomly at the time (early 1974). I had a preference (and still do) for the world bands for the simple reason that they fit the rest of the decal set much better in my opinion, color wise. Maybe that's only because I was used to the original way, but I really think I just don't like either the design nor the color compatibily related to the rest of the decals.
Since I'm still in the early stages of developing the time line, I haven't inserted all of the pieces of information and the dates yet; but I recall at this point that Mike Howard and myself returned for the "second wave" of Carlsbad Masi production in about June of 1976, which is when we ceased production of Wizard frames. When we arrived in Carlsbad, frames were trickeling in from Eisentraut. As far as I can tell, all of the Eisentraut Masis were being decaled with the Masi America seat tube bands. I'll need to talk to Albert (good luck) about some of these details to get a better picture of his involvement with Masi. I'm not sure exactly when the previous Masi employees (except Gian Simonetti, but including Mario) were "let go", but I will find that out exactly from 8 different sources I have on my list of interviewees. But there is a period between when the previous crew was let go, and when Mike and myself came back and assembled a new "crew", composed primarily of local guys and friends. I trained my childhood friend Barry Keyser as a painting assistant at that time. I haven't seen him since then, but CyclArt had a 50 cm Masi frame that was custom painted a "Periwinkle" blue color and was a special built "employee" frame that I took extra attention on. Someone scored a really nice "custom" Masi from Jim recently. The frame was actually Barrys' wifes size, the frame was considered an employee bonus. I created the color and painted only one bike that color; it's probably the only one there is like that in original factory condition.
As you can see, each piece of information falls into place and will ultimately aid us in understanding the whole story start to finish. This is going to take a lot of time. I was talking to someone yesterday who mentioned we should write a book about the Masi history. I told him that if my friend Rex was willing and able to research and compile a lot of information on the Masi history in Italy (personally, I'd like to know everything that happened in Italy from start to finish ), and if Rex is willing to merge the information with the history of Masi here, we might have something. It would hopefully be a start to finish account of the Masi history. Since my friend is in close personal contact on a REALLY regular basis with Alberto Masi himself; I'm sure he could suck the information out of Alberto. Ever try stopping an Italian from telling you how great they are? Enough said. I'll bet Alberto would be flattered. He is probably going to retire soon and there are no heirs to carry on the Masi name. Once Alberto quits, the Masi era is over in Italy. Maybe this thing will end up bigger than when it started. And to tell you the truth, I'm dying to know the whole Masi story in Italy! Go get em', Rex.
Brian Baylis La Mesa, CA I can feel already that this project could very well bring us all closer together. I'm going to stick my neck out and even predict that by the end even Jim and I will be friends. There is much here that will help both of us understand each other much better once it's all put into perspective. I'm convinced there is no real reason for Jim and I to be at odds. It's a simple matter of a little kink somewhere that needs to be massaged a bit.