A Visit with Faliero and Alberto Masi - Summer 1972
by Doug Fattic
This story began with the following post to the CR list:
I then wrote to Doug to ask about his bike and if he still had it. Over the next few weeks, we exchanged quite a few emails, from which the following story is edited:
My parents went to Italy in the summer of 1972 and ordered two bikes from Masi, a complete bicycle for myself and a frame for my girl friend. My mother can be really persuasive and talked Faliero into having one completed before they came back home. Unfortunately, it was stolen out of their rented car while visiting the Shroud of Turin. Immediately, she contacted Masi again and he made another which was sent about 6 weeks later. This was around October of 1972 when it arrived. I definitely had it a few months before 1973.
Hi, you got me intrigued about the date of my Masi so I took
out the fork like you suggested and it has the date of 9
72, which of course agrees with my memory. Now my memory is
not so great about the fork crown on the littler Masi that I
got for my old girl friend. I traded it for a Harry Quinn
that was my size a year later (so it wouldn’t irritate my
new girl friend who became my wife and I got a nice curly
stay Hetchins for her in ‘73 - that escaped the damage my
two frames received). What I vaguely remember is that
the little Masi did not have a twin plate crown. The serial
number on the fork as well as on the bb of my Masi says V58
which I always assumed referred to the size. I remember
that Masi wanted to sell me a 57 but I wanted a slightly
bigger size. I have never understood what the V stood for.
I just found out from Brian Baylis when I asked about that
other Masi in my shop that the sizing on the Masi’s are
center to tip top of the lug which makes mine about a 56
center to center.
I still have the frame but I put the parts on about the 3rd
or 4th frame I built for one of my high school students. I
taught for one more year after apprenticing in England in
‘75 before going into frame building and painting full time.
Unfortunately his bicycle was stolen when he was in med
school at Loma Linda in California so they are lost forever.
Another sad fact about the frame was that when I moved from
my old house to my new, I left my Hetchins and Masi frames
in the basement of the old house until I could find a proper
place to store them in my new house. Well the new owner of
my old house didn’t see any value in bicycle frames so he
left them in a side shed where they rusted when I came to
get them later. I thought they were still in his basement.
Bummer. They aren’t terribly damaged but I don’t want to
repaint the Masi since I can’t do it with the same paint,
someday I might the Hetchins since I had it repainted once
before to give it to my brother.
Notes on the photos: Photos are Kodachrome slides taken with an M-series Leica, exposures unknown. Scanned at 48 bit/2400 dpi, processed in Photoshop.
Click photos to enlarge.