1960s Union Strano # 782794

 PREV  ITEM 7 / 68  NEXT 

BACK TO START

oldbike_online_bike_museum1

velocino 1

In 1933, Ernesto Pettazzoni, an engineer from Bologna, Italy, applied for a British patent for his ultra-short-wheelbase semi-recumbent machine, the Velocino. It represented a wheelchair chopped in half, with the seat over the normal-sized rear wheel. The tiny front wheel was about 10 inches in diameter. The handlebar was reversible, giving the option of under-seat steering. Mussolini is said to have commissioned the Velocino as a compact, easily stored urban vehicle. The project attracted a lot of attention but was canceled after Italy entered Word War II.

–  Bicycle Design: An Illustrated History, by Tony Hadland, Hans-Erhard Lessing, Nick Clayton, Gary W. Sanderson

Since Ernesto Pettazzoni’s original Velocino was launched and, unfortunately, canceled soon after, several other companies launched bicycles inspired by his design. Union of Holland introduced the ‘Strano’ in the 1960s – designed by Bernard Overing of Deventer – followed by inventor Emil Friedman of Germany who exhibited a similar machine he called the ‘Donkey.’

A modern version was launched by Italian company Abici recently as a budget bicycle priced around £500, and it has had a favourable reception. After a delay of over 70 years, Pettazzoni’s unique bicycle design is at last being ridden and enjoyed and receiving the acclaim it deserves.

velocino 5

1960s Union Strano

Rear Wheel: 26″

Front Wheel: 10″

Frame No 782794

Recently purchased from a Dutch museum, Union Strano #782794 is in excellent unrestored original condition. The front tyre is worn but holds air. It retains its original ‘Union’ saddle and is ready to ride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1935 PATENT ERNESTO PETTAZZONI

 

1935 Velocino E Pettazzoni patent 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1936 VELOCINO CATALOGUE

 

 

 

 

 

1935 Velocino 2

 

YOUTUBE VIDEO

1939 JOHN PLAYER CIGARETTE CARDS: No 30 VELOCINO

1935 Velocino

The way many of my friends and I learned about bicycles as youngsters was through cigarette cards. No 30 of Players ‘Cycling’ series introduced us to the ‘Italian Velocino Bicycle.’