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1970s Torpado?

Old 06-30-22, 06:46 PM
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jigokudani
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1970s Torpado?

ewbie
Torpado is one of the elite bike-building companies in Italy and Iím selling a model that dates back to the mid-1970s, an oldie but goodie. Iíve owned it since 1979 and ridden it perhaps a total of 100 miles during that time. Recently maintained/lubed by The Missing Link in Berkeley. Riding it feels like being on a thoroughbredÖits rigid frame translates every pedal stroke into immediate forward motion.

The 24Ē frame was state of the art for the day, Columbus, the lightest you can possibly get in steel. All the joints are beautiful and impeccable and designed for lightness and speed. The sticker says itís ďModello Serie Elegante AtorresiniĒ.

Stem and handlebars are Cinelli, and all other parts (except wheels) are Campagnolo, including the brakes that are drilled out for further weight saving. I donít know Campy parts super well, but my sense is they are all the high end of the line.

When I first got this bike it also had Campy wheels with sew-up innertubes, but Iím not that hard core, so replaced them (and the pure leather seat). Iíve also added a Blackburn bike rack on the back.

Weighs 22 lbs with all the little accessories Iíve added (rack, mirror, lock rack, etcÖ)

whatís it worth? I used to get offers in the thousands when I took it in for routine maintenance at a local bike shop















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Old 06-30-22, 07:35 PM
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No offense: that must've been the hardest 100 miles EVER. The first generation super record is tasty and worth a dollar or two. I can't see more than 1000 in its current condition,, and that would be a wait. If someone actually offered you several thousand, go collect now. It's a high end Torpado, but they just don't have the market cache of the "big names". To get top dollar, you'll need to Ditch the horrible rack, taken it down to the bare frame and do a proper thorough job cleaning it, touching up the horribly tired and beat paint, clean EVERTHING completely and carefully reassemble. Presentation is everything. If it looks poor, you'll get poor offers.
Sorry to be harsh. It could be a drop dead gorgeous bike, but it's going to take some serious elbow grease and time. As a Torpado fan, I'd love to re-home it, but it's just not in the cards.

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Old 06-30-22, 11:06 PM
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Deleted comments but this doesn't all add up.

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Old 07-01-22, 02:06 AM
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Thanks for these pointers. If In fully restored condition l, what do you think it would fetch?

wish I still had the campy rims and sewup tires!
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Old 07-01-22, 06:01 AM
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I agree that to get true value out of this bike , it would take an investment of time and money. The bike is well worth it and would sell but the "all cleaned up" price would still be no higher than $1500 around here in Southern California. If you found someone who was looking for THIS particular model , perhaps higher as you don't see them often. Nice bike! I usually spend an entire weekend to clean one up that looks like this bike , provided there are no surprises.
OH! Check the pedal spindles with a magnet. It is hard to tell with the provided pictures , but they look like Ti spindles , which would make sense on a weight conscious bike. This would be a selling feature for some.

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Old 07-01-22, 07:25 AM
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Thank you all again so much for this great information! Iíve been traveling this bike around with me since I was 18 and had finally considered selling it to trade for a simple around the town upper end thing. Because, again, riding this is like being on a racehorse Ö Even my teen sons donít feel they can handle it. Iím wondering whether I should try to retrofit something like the tires and the handlebars to make the ride softer and more manageable, keeping the ďinfrastructureĒ of the bike since itís so good to begin with. Iím sure you vintage people will think this is a sin, but wondering what you think of it in terms of getting a rideable around the town vehicle? Thanks, in advance, for all your thoughts!
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Old 07-01-22, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Deleted comments but this doesn't all add up.
My thoughts exactly.
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Old 07-02-22, 04:20 PM
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Young women would give me a second look 20 years ago.

and I have not gained weight.

I see a pretty well used bike in average mechanical shape. Do not repaint it in the hopes of higher value.
do clean it up. Ditch the rack, sell it with but it won't assist in the sales price.
this was very close to a top of the range Ital-Vega.

selling price will be very market dependent
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Old 07-03-22, 06:21 AM
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Agreed, the big attraction is the 1st generation Camapgnolo Super Record components. It's unfortunate that the hubs aren't present. That frame itself is only in fair condition and as previously noted, Torpado isn't a big name. They were one of the lesser known, mass volume, full range brands. In fact, there was no Torpado company. Torpado was a brand owned by the Torresini company, which was established by Carlo Torresini in 1895, in Padova, Italy. The Torpado name comes from the founder plus the city (i.e TORresini + PADOva = TORPADO).
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Old 07-03-22, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Agreed, the big attraction is the 1st generation Camapgnolo Super Record components. It's unfortunate that the hubs aren't present. That frame itself is only in fair condition and as previously noted, Torpado isn't a big name. They were one of the lesser known, mass volume, full range brands. In fact, there was no Torpado company. Torpado was a brand owned by the Torresini company, which was established by Carlo Torresini in 1895, in Padova, Italy. The Torpado name comes from the founder plus the city (i.e TORresini + PADOva = TORPADO).
I agree with Tom and thanks for the name origin information. I have owned a few Torpado bikes, from entry level...


To mid-range...


to Professional...


They are ornate and one of my favorite vintage road bikes...
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Old 07-04-22, 09:11 AM
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Very nice bike but it's rough shape while maybe not a tone of miles it has some heavy wear on the drive train and rims enough that it stands out in pics so add a couple digits to the miles estimate. As is nicely cleaned up presented I would say $400 or so.
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Old 07-04-22, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
I agree with Tom and thanks for the name origin information. I have owned a few Torpado bikes, from entry level...
To mid-range...
to Professional...
They are ornate and one of my favorite vintage road bikes...
Torpado was arguably the best selling entry level, Italian bicycle in Ontario and Quebec during the early 1970s bicycle boom. It certainly was in my region and appears to have been in your region too. The upper entry level Luxe model, with it's extensive chroming, chromovelato finish and Camapgnolo Valentino Extra derailleurs was quite popular and outsold the competition from Atala, Bianchi, Bottecchia, Chiorda and Garlatti. I always put it down to the extra bling. Strangely, Torpado didn't appear to have had anywhere near the same market penetration south of the border, at that time. I guess Baggio just did a better job of distribution. There did seem to be bigger push south of the border, in the mid-1980s, once Agrati-Garelli took control of Torresini.
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Old 07-04-22, 05:45 PM
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Recent service? Chain speaks for itself. And two different brake cable housings. Then you have the grimy brake calipers, and missing brake lever hoods. Rims show a lot of wear too. Rust on brake caliper springs and fork crown. Seat post has a lot of scratches. Pictures speak for themselves.

Rideable around town bike? My favorite continues to be a 1980s rigid frame MTB. I still find higher end ones in the $100 to $150 range. Generous gearing, can handle almost any width tire, great brakes (usually). I've set up some with North Roads style handlebars, some with Trekking bars, and others with drops.

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Old 07-10-22, 02:08 AM
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PM sent with info and questions.
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Old 07-10-22, 04:57 AM
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jigokudani Post some more info in 5 more posts so you can open PM’s or post additional pics in each of 5 posts. Bottom of bottom bracket, rear chain stay bridge, left side top of seat tube and seat lug, top of rear derailleur showing Pat. #, back of crank arms, back of seat post.
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Old 07-11-22, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jigokudani View Post
If In fully restored condition, what do you think it would fetch?
Not enough to justify the cost of the respray.

Parting it out will max profit.
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Old 07-11-22, 12:55 PM
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Thanks for some of the private messages with such great info. I'm out of the country for another couple of weeks, but will post pics per suggestions by the end of July!
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