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DESCRIPTION: Faliero Masi (Sesto Fiorentino 1908- Milan 2000) learns to build tailor-made racing bikes as an apprentice at the “Compostrini” workshop in Sesto Florentino. He has a past as bicycle racer, also participates in the 1931 and 1932 Giro d’Italia. Then opens a shop in Sesto Fiorentino in 1949. He is called to Milan by Viscontea, of which he becomes the head of the Corse Department. In 1952 he moved his bike manufacturing business to Milan, almost immediately inside the Vigorelli velodrome. In the 1950s he was the first mechanic of the Nivea-Fuchs team led by F. Magni; second mechanic is E. Colnago. It is called “the tailor” for the ability to make custom-made frames. In 1972, Faliero sold the Masi brand to a consortium in California (to produce a Gran Criterium model for the United States). Faliero’s intention was to move to work in the US, but some disagreements and the dissatisfaction for the American life-style brought him back to Italy. The American “Masi” is based in California, originally in Carlsbad (entrusted to Mario Confente), then to Rancho Santa Fe, then to San Marcos. In Milan the activity it was continued by his son Alberto. The Masi are among the most sought after bicycles by collectors from around the world. Many racers and champions bicycles were made by Masi, although the labels then applied to the frames were those of the manufacturers-massive brands that were targeting the mass market and were sponsoring the team. Masi frames were used by F. Coppi, F. Magni, L. Bobet, M. Poblet, R. Rivière, Antonio Maspes (of whom Faliero was the mechanic of trust), R. Van Looy, G. Nencini, J. Anquetil (who on a Masi at Vigorelli in 1959 establishes the Record of the hour), V. Adorni and Eddy Merckx.
This bike was found in the basements of the IGNIS plant (now Wirpool) in Comerio. At the time of the discovery it was in disastrous conditions: it was painted with a green brush, and mounted with a sport handlebar, most likely to be used inside company. Fortunately the bike was intact and complete with all its parts. Immediately it was identified as a MASI SPECIAL but, scratching the new varnish the surprise: the original color appeared, yellow, and traces of the decals, IGNIS. What’s even more interesting is that the bike carries the frame number 002 as well as the cranks and the bottom bracket axis punched with the same number. At that point there were no more doubts, the bike was a MASI SPECIAL made by Faliero Msi for the 1962 IGNIS / FIDES racing team. Deepening the research, and verifying measures and components of that team, it is possible to attribute the bike to one between Antonio Maspes and Hugo Poblet but, obviously, the research continues. The bike was then restored taking as a sample for the color and the decals that of Ercole Baldini present in his private collection, which kindly showed it to us. It is mounted exactly like his, with Campagnolo Record group (151mm crankset and first series derailleur). Universal 61 brakes, Ambrosio Champion handlebar and stem, Nisi Toro wheels, Brooks saddle. Unique bike with an important historical value.