In a message dated 8/13/2005 7:51:47 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Brian writes:
I think we're going to need more to go on to make a real educated guess. The M53 or 58 part could signify an Italian Masi, but now where near as late as '86. Could be a later stamp, or who knows what.
A single "M" could be a San Marcos Masi, 1984 and later.
Italian Masis from 1974 and earlier also had a single "M" in front of the frame size stamp, but there were other letters as well... usually presumed to be a "city code" signifying the subcontractor, tho there's been a lot of debate on the subject. Later tho, most Prestiges and 3V's had an aphabet soup of two letter prefixes... I've been told by several folks who bought frames directly from Alberto that these were "customer codes," whatever that means. All I know is, these stamps do not have the relatively small pool of letters of the earlier "city codes"... I don't think I've seen a pair of letters on an 80's bike ever repeat.
the serial number (according to the seller, i've not seen the bike in person) is m53 (the 3 could be an 8 according to the seller) 06 17 86
if anyone could tell me if the serial number looks correct (is it an '86?) or any other details they can determine based on the serial number, i'd be most grateful.
-galen 'biting his nails' pewtherer san francisco, ca
M53 (or 8) would be the frame size stamp, so measure the frame and you'll know what that last number is supposed to be.
06 17 86 does not sound like any '80's Masi serial number I've seen. US Masis had a four digit serial number, of which the first number was the year (i.e., 6134 for a 1986 bike). Italian Masis would have a three/four digit date code, year first followed by month (i.e., 8611 for November 1986).
I've been told that some time in the 1990's, Alberto went to a five/six digit date code, but so far my pool of bike photos (with clear BB shots) from this period is not large enough to confirm this.
Speaking of which, have you got any photos of this bike? Decals and frame fabrication details can help narrow the date considerably.