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`53 Torpado build finally complete!

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`53 Torpado build finally complete!

Old 07-01-20, 01:48 AM
  #1  
Dan Chase
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`53 Torpado build finally complete!

Hi Guys,
Kind of got seduced by a very original `50`s racer that was lurking in Italy, figured it was time to an older vintage bike to the collection so went ahead and picked up this 1953 Torpado Gran Sport. Bike was very original, you could tell from the same rock hard grease on all the internals that it had been in a hot shed for most of the last 60 years. Condition was good and bad - parts were all there, campy gran sport, magistroni cranks, universal 51 brakes, campy hubs with nisi rims, ambrosio champion forged stem and bars. Alas the paint was no good - rock hard and chipped in some place, flakey and off with your fingernail in others, plus the chrome was very pitted and rusty. Plan was to fully strip, re-chrome, paint and assemble with as many original parts as possible - alas the seat post and seat were shot (replaced with campy 2 bolt and period brooks b17), the rims were splitting between the eyes so good period nisis rims were sourced and re-laced with new spokes and veloflex tubs, plus new consumerbles such as bar tape, hoods, wires, pads.

Frame was stripped back to bare metel and polished before chroming - nice little columbus stamps on the steel under the paint, decided to keep the rear quarter and the forks chrome, with chromed agrati lugs on show as per original.

As arrived - kind of bought it for the original bottle hanger...



As finished:


Painted frame - I painted it with 2k, stripes are paint, tried to mask and paint the torpado logo but went very wrong and went for decals instead.


Parts all cleaned and ready for assembly:


Bottom bracket went in nicely:


Forks and headset took 2 goes to get a good fit - don`t ask...


Front derailier and cranks go on:


Gran sport derailier was a joy to work with:


Out of sequence bare frame pic:


Polishing up the lugs:
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Old 07-01-20, 01:59 AM
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And some more pics...

Very happy with how the groupset came out:


Universal 51 brakes, side pull with the release levers - really good but pads are too hard:


Campy front deralier very effective, though with 50/48 there`s not a lot of point to it...


Finished:


Nice...


Test ride - very itchy torpado wool top...


The ride is first class, very smooth, not twitchy, brake pads are hard and will need replacing (although they are new) as the brakes don`t really do anything, campy gran sport is just a joy. ***Word of warning - 2k paint takes an age to harden, still softer than I would like after 3 months*** I`ll weight it and let you know, feels around 10 kilo, 22.5Ibs.

Thanks, Dan.
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Old 07-01-20, 04:27 AM
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That looks great--nice job with the seat tube stripes!
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Old 07-01-20, 05:44 AM
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Wow!

That is an awesome job.
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Old 07-01-20, 05:54 AM
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That looks amazing!! Great job
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Old 07-01-20, 06:06 AM
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Great post and photos. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-01-20, 06:07 AM
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Wowza!

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Old 07-01-20, 06:49 AM
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Who painted it so beautifully?

What's it ride like? Long wheelbase?

What's the little port in the bb shell?
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Old 07-01-20, 07:02 AM
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-----

Thanks so much for posting.

Beautiful bicycle and work.

Fine job with the documentation as well.

Frame constructed with the Agrati "BRIANZA" lug set nr. 000.8030/U.

Upper head lug nr. 000.8034.

Lower head lug nr. 000.8033.

Seat lug nr. 022.8039.

Fork crown nr. 000.8038.

Headset appears to be Way-Assauto.

Sheffield pedals look to be model Corsa 655.

Brake lever hoods you selected are a nice choice.

The Rampinelli bottle holder is a great item and quite valuable.

Find meself wondering why you chose to assemble the chainset with the fixed bottom bracket cup on the non-drive side.

Please remember to post it to the "Show us your Torpado" thread.

Thank you again.

-----
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Old 07-01-20, 07:42 AM
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Dan Chase
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Who painted it so beautifully?

What's it ride like? Long wheelbase?

What's the little port in the bb shell?
I took on the painting myself - my regular painter didn`t want to tackle the seat stripes - can`t blame him really, masking those was almost a days work... paint is Torpado`s Celeste - not as minty as Bianchi`s but with a little pearl the same, came out really well in the end.

Can`t rememebr the wheelbase but its very stable at speed and great at downhills, would have preferred a longer stem but changing the original was not an option.

Little port is for grease - there`s also one in the steerer tube, seem to have misplaced the 2 chrome screw caps for them...

Thanks, Dan.
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Old 07-01-20, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

Thanks so much for posting.

Beautiful bicycle and work.

Fine job with the documentation as well.

Frame constructed with the Agrati "BRIANZA" lug set nr. 000.8030/U.

Upper head lug nr. 000.8034.

Lower head lug nr. 000.8033.

Seat lug nr. 022.8039.

Fork crown nr. 000.8038.

Headset appears to be Way-Assauto.

Sheffield pedals look to be model Corsa 655.

Brake lever hoods you selected are a nice choice.

The Rampinelli bottle holder is a great item and quite valuable.

Find meself wondering why you chose to assemble the chainset with the fixed bottom bracket cup on the non-drive side.

Please remember to post it to the "Show us your Torpado" thread.

Thank you again.

-----
Thanks for the detail - more there than I managed to track down online! Your the first person who recognised the bidon cage as well. I did notice the campy dropouts don`t have eyelets on them (front and rear) - any ideas?

BB shell just wanted to go on that way round, adjustable shell wasn`t liking the offside thread so went with what worked.

Will track down the "show us your torpado" thread and post there, thanks, Dan.

Thanks, Dan.
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Old 07-01-20, 07:53 AM
  #12  
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Nice work.

Tip for your itchy top. Wear a wicking base layer.
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Old 07-01-20, 08:25 AM
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Nice work, that bike is BEAUTIFUL!!!!

The chrome head tube lugs came out great!

Got a close up of the crank/chainrings?

I've painted several things with 2k paint and have not had issues with it being soft for extended periods of time, there are of course so many different brands.
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Old 07-01-20, 09:03 AM
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Fabulous bike. Beautiful job restoring it!
Thanks for reviving another old timer.
Brent
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Old 07-01-20, 09:25 AM
  #15  
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I am, truly, impressed! I love the quality of your work and the final result. To that add, that until recently, the lovely powder blue color would have been my absolute preference. That, however, changed recently...

The OP's build is of special interest to me, as I am in the process of getting my mid sixties Torpado Professional in road worthy condition. I have ridden the bike, but since implementing some changes, the drive is horribly noisy. I am planning on repainting the bike, once some frame repairs are completed (and I get it running properly - probably more frame work). Anyway, my Professional, the fifth or sixth late sixties or early seventies Torpado to come my way...

The Professional...


The last Torpado that I street restored, the close to entry level offering in its day, the LUXE...
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Old 07-01-20, 09:46 AM
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I admit the 2k paint works great, but only if you do great work.

Great job
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Old 07-01-20, 10:05 AM
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very sweet ride, enjoy my friend.
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Old 07-01-20, 10:16 AM
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You inspire me. I love that bike.
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Old 07-01-20, 10:40 AM
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Well that turned out quite well.

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Old 07-01-20, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
Nice work, that bike is BEAUTIFUL!!!!

The chrome head tube lugs came out great!

Got a close up of the crank/chainrings?

I've painted several things with 2k paint and have not had issues with it being soft for extended periods of time, there are of course so many different brands.
Will have to wait a few weeks for a closeup of the chainring and pedals - thought I`d taken sooo many pics, but missed a few - the bikes currently stuck in France and I`m in the UK.

Thanks, Dan.
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Old 07-01-20, 11:19 AM
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That's beautiful! Very nice work on the paint and chrome.
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Old 07-01-20, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Chase View Post
Thanks for the detail - more there than I managed to track down online! Your the first person who recognised the bidon cage as well. I did notice the campy dropouts don`t have eyelets on them (front and rear) - any ideas?

BB shell just wanted to go on that way round, adjustable shell wasn`t liking the offside thread so went with what worked.

Will track down the "show us your torpado" thread and post there, thanks, Dan.

Thanks, Dan.
-----

i too was immediately struck by the absence of eyelets. in my recollection the trend for eyelet removal and of manufacturers producing road end sets without eyelets tends to begin around 1974.

afaik Campag did not offer the 1010 ends set without eyelets at this time. many other forum members are far more knowledgeable on Campag than meself so perhaps they con contribute some information on this topic.

if they were removed by Torresini during or prior to the manufacturing process there might be some trace on the edges. otoh the ends would have had to have been polished prior to plating...

there is a currently active forum thread concerning the identity of a 1960's era Italian frame whose 1010 ends set also exhibits no eyelets. it is not in original finish and has no chrome which makes the eyelet question rather grey:

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...rer-frame.html

is there a model marking on the Magistroni chainset? L. Senior perhaps? found it interesting that the fixed cup shows a smooth flat face. on the higher model sets from the maker the fixed cup is more 3D, exhibiting a groove and often writing. is the adjustable cup the pin hole type or is it the raised hex type? the spindle ends appear to be hollow. me guess would be that the spindle is not hollow all the way through and the hollowness goes in about fifteen or twenty mm at each end. what is the marking on the spindle's centre section? does it read L. Senior for example? were you able to reuse the beautiful high quality wedgebolts or was it necessary to fit ordinary modern replacements? vintage Italian ones can be most handsome with their high degree of polish, bored heads and false acorns with colour coordinated inserts. this is a challenging item for restorers to get correct. chainset is not shown clearly in any of the images; wondering if it is one which employs Y-adaptors.

here is the "show us your Torpado" thread [all Torresini products are welcome, regardless of how badged, according to the host]:

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...r-torpado.html

Torresini history note -

forum member T-Mar recently posted that Agrati-Garelli purchased Torresini in 1983. this made me wonder what, if anything, they did with it. Agrati seemed to discontinue the manufacture of cycle fittings ca. 1983-85. Agrati-Garelli continued on with their motorbike business.

-----
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Old 07-01-20, 07:58 PM
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Love the color!

Congrats on the build. What a stunner!
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Old 07-01-20, 08:34 PM
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kudos!
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Old 07-02-20, 01:47 AM
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Just replying to Juvela - can`t seen to get the "quote" reply to work today...

Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

i too was immediately struck by the absence of eyelets. in my recollection the trend for eyelet removal and of manufacturers producing road end sets without eyelets tends to begin around 1974.

afaik Campag did not offer the 1010 ends set without eyelets at this time. many other forum members are far more knowledgeable on Campag than meself so perhaps they con contribute some information on this topic.

if they were removed by Torresini during or prior to the manufacturing process there might be some trace on the edges. otoh the ends would have had to have been polished prior to plating...

there is a currently active forum thread concerning the identity of a 1960's era Italian frame whose 1010 ends set also exhibits no eyelets. it is not in original finish and has no chrome which makes the eyelet question rather grey:

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...rer-frame.html

is there a model marking on the Magistroni chainset? L. Senior perhaps? found it interesting that the fixed cup shows a smooth flat face. on the higher model sets from the maker the fixed cup is more 3D, exhibiting a groove and often writing. is the adjustable cup the pin hole type or is it the raised hex type? the spindle ends appear to be hollow. me guess would be that the spindle is not hollow all the way through and the hollowness goes in about fifteen or twenty mm at each end. what is the marking on the spindle's centre section? does it read L. Senior for example? were you able to reuse the beautiful high quality wedgebolts or was it necessary to fit ordinary modern replacements? vintage Italian ones can be most handsome with their high degree of polish, bored heads and false acorns with colour coordinated inserts. this is a challenging item for restorers to get correct. chainset is not shown clearly in any of the images; wondering if it is one which employs Y-adaptors.

here is the "show us your Torpado" thread [all Torresini products are welcome, regardless of how badged, according to the host]:

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...r-torpado.html

Torresini history note -

forum member T-Mar recently posted that Agrati-Garelli purchased Torresini in 1983. this made me wonder what, if anything, they did with it. Agrati seemed to discontinue the manufacture of cycle fittings ca. 1983-85. Agrati-Garelli continued on with their motorbike business.

-----
The crankset is Torpado marked, thin cranks with center relief, 3 spider arms each joining another thin twin arm leading to the chainring - typical of most I`ve seen on early torpados - there`s one on ebay i think.

BB cup is the simple version with the holes in it for adjustment, bb is solid with wholes at the end, marked "C" which I assumed was just for campagnolo - new I should have taken more pics...

Re-used one original cotterpins, the other was seized real bad, LBS had to rreally work on it to remove it as I just didn`t want to hit it that hard.

Thanks, Dan.
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