MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

YELLOW TORPADO - INTRO

FINDING YELLOW TORPADO

FAREWELL TORPADO

 

BICYCLES OF ITALY

  

THE YELLOW TORPADO - INTRODUCTION

During the fifties, sixties and seventies, the Torpado bicycle made its way through the competitive alleys of the vintage bicycle racing world.  Manufacturing bicycles, from entry level quality, similar to the LUXE featured here, all the way to the top of the line, Super Light model, the company attempted to meet the needs of a wide customer base.

Like many of its competitors, Torpado supported professional racing, in an attempt to earn the glory needed, to better market the bicycle.  And, numerous successes did, indeed, place the Torpado name, in the bicycling history annals.  Though never a major marketing success like by Bianchi, the Torpado did, none the less, manage to capture its share of both the competition and utilitarian market.

Torpado bicycles are unusually common in the city of Thunder Bay. I live in a somewhat remote community, of roughly 110,000 people, with the nearest major city being Winnipeg, some 450 miles, to the west.  During the late sixties, and early seventies, Baggio, a Montreal based company, imported Torpados into Canada.  And, Baggio did so in, what must have been, fairly large quantities.  Virtually every Torpado encounter, to date, includes the Baggio Cycle Sport logo.

This beautiful old Yellow Torpado sports no model identification, however, best guess would suggest it to be the LUXE model.  The bicycle is, basically - basic.  The fact that there is no tubing decal, would suggest the absence of a good tube set.  High tensile steel, would most likely have been chosen, as a foundation for this reasonably well made road bicycle.  Pressed steel drops, both front and back would again indicate entry level quality.  But, the generous chrome plating, adorning the head lugs, stays and fork blades, moves the bike up, a notch or two, in the apparent quality department.  Though the chrome plating does little to improve performance, it does add to the wonderful vintage appearance, as well as the collectible appeal, of this old Italian steed.

Entry level bicycles, such as the Yellow Torpado, were common during the late sixties and early seventies.  Bottecchia, Chiorda, Legnano, Bianchi, and even the ubiquitous Peugeot UO8, would prove to be in direct competition with the entry level Torpado.

Though nothing special, in either the collectible or ride able senses, this very clean old Torpado does offer an interesting twist that tends, in my mind at least.  The twist points, in the direction, the vintage bicycle is going, these days.  And what direction is that?  Simple.  Decent vintage road bicycles, the kind that offer collectible value, as well as rewarding ride experience, do not have to be top dog offerings.  An ordinary "Ten Speed", just like this humble entry level example presented here, can be more than worthwhile projects, to restore and ride.  Read on, and see what I mean...

NEXT - FINDING THE YELLOW TORPADO

 

 

 

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