At 7:24 AM -0500 12/31/08, Michael Schmidt wrote:
>At L'Eroica's show and swap in 2006, one vendor was selling an intact 1968
>Masi Special (58CM) for 800 Euro negotiable. A few tire kickers but the
>bike did not sell. Jamie Swan and I briefly thought about buying it,
>shipping it home and flipping the bike here but decided against it.
>I saw only a few riders on Masi. Lots of Bianchis though.
During the bike boom, Masi and Confente lived in California, so of course, their bikes were not well-known in Italy. You'd have to import one from California, if you wanted one!
Also, if Masi had a flourishing business, he would not have accepted the proposition to come to California. Thus, it does not surprise that pre-California Masis are somewhat obscure in Italy.
Cinellis are a different matter - Cino was in Italy, yet his bikes are more popular in Germany, Britain and the U.S. than in his country. The going hypothesis is that Cinelli did not want to upset his sales of handlebars and stems to other makers, so he did not compete aggressively for the Italian market, and focused on exports instead.
National preferences for brands are a funny thing. When 1950s American cars were popular for a while in Germany in the late 1980s, everybody wanted Chevrolets, and Cadillacs were less desirable.
For those familiar with Italy, what are the most popular classic racing bike brands in Italy? In France, it's Colnago...
Jan Heine Editor Bicycle Quarterly 140 Lakeside Ave #C Seattle WA 98122 http://www.vintagebicyclepress.com