In a message dated 6/10/2003 2:15:14 PM Eastern Daylight Time, TheMaaslands@comcast.net writes:
<< Benotto has a web site at http://www.benotto.com.mx it doesn't say anything about their history, but I have an Italian book that describes how they started in Turin in 1931. One of the family members moved to Mexico City in the 70's and production was started up there. From the information that I have seen their top bikes were still built in Italy for a few years after the start-up in Mexico. Once the quality was at least as good in Mexico as it was in Italy, they moved all production to Mexico. They sponsored pro teams almost continuously from the 40's onwards and therefore are probably one of the most long-standing pro bike suppliers. I have a lovely 1952 Benotto with Cambio Corsa with original paint. I have sent photos to Dale to post to the Benotto page when he has time. >>
By coincidence, I published those pictures of Stevan's bike today.
Way back in the 1970s, "I heard" (sorry, Jan!) that Mr. Benotto took a wife who was from Mexico and thereafter set up the Mexican operation as a lower cost operation to supplement his Italian production. This should have been early to mid 1970s. The Italian production continued into the late 1980s when Benotto retired to Mexico and left Italy. I am afraid I might ruffle a few feathers here, but I handled quite a few of both the Italian and Mexican bikes, and the Mexican product was never up to the Italian standard. More like comparing a Windsor to a Cinelli. Good bikes but not in the ball park... The Benotto Sanson team era bikes were very well crafted, right up there in level-of-craft with the other Italian luminaries. Interestingly, Benotto was one of the very few Italian builders who claimed to use silver brazing materials. (Of course, the percentage silver content and which bike models received this expensive joining method, was never stated.)
Greensboro, North Carolina