1951 Maserati 125cc Prototype


So using the great wide web, I Learned Today, that Adolfo Orsi was the patriarch of the Maserati industrial corporation that produced spark plugs, batteries, motorcycle, cars and probably a lot of other things. In 1953 the Fabbrica Candele Accumulatori Maserati S.p.A.  was divided from the parent company and give to a family member to run. This divisions core base for manufacture was in batteries and spark plugs, but with the purchase of Italmoto in 1953, a true motorcycle manufacture, it started to put the Maserati Trident on motorcycle gas tanks. This 1951 Maserati Prototype could well have been a study to see  if Maserati had the ability to manufacture motorcycles with their current, industrial production base. The answer seemed to be “No.”

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From the seller

This is a 1951 Maserati 125 Prototype Motorcycle. It has been completely restored and has been fired up after restoration. The engine is all sand cast aluminum, very fast and loud! This bike has all the hard welds as a prototype should. I was told that this was Bruno Lombardi’s motorcycle and his mechanic had serviced it, still researching for documentation on that.

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I tried to find some information on Brumo Lombardi, but was only able to find him listed as one of Maserati’s factory racers. It looks like the team was involved in many of the races which took place on the roadways of Italy. The Mille Miglia is the best know of these races, but other races with the title of Tour of Italy (Motogiro d’ltalia), and Milan to Taranto were also huge draws to manufactures and spectators. It was in 1957 that these spectacular races came to an end when multiple spectators were killed when a car went into the crowds who were watching the racers of the Mille Miglia.

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This 1951 Maserati Prototype is going to be unique in that it is one of one. The rear suspension is a “plunger” type, were there are two springs which suspend the frame above the rear wheel. This appears to have been replaced with shocks and swing arms when production started. This type of rear end was also called a “garden gate” because there was little to stop the side to side movement of the rear wheel and axel, and it would swing freely like a gate.  Small Italian bikes were produced for a nation who need to be transports for very few Lira, but today, those same motorcycles have asking prices which are far from their MSRP. BB

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2 Responses

  1. While the Orsi family did control Maserati for a time, Adolfo Orsi is now a Maserati expert who travels the car-show circuit peddling his knowledge to Maser owners who want authentication. He’s a bit too young to have overseen operations at the factory, as he was born a few years after 1951! I saw him at Villa d’Este just a few weeks ago…we met while judging at the Legend of the Motorcycle Concours, back in 2006.

  2. Brian says:

    Any chance there was a Grand Father Adolfo?
    Paul, do you have any insight in the frame? The frame tubes looks very “thin”?