Some years ago an friend asked me if I didn´t want to come along to see some bikes in a cellar in a neighbouring town. They were under a pub, the owner of which had been a cycle racer in the fifties and sixties. There was a number of interesting items, but many had wasted away through bad storage: The cellar had whitewashed walls the chemical ingredients of which had literally dissolved the metals that had been leaned against the walls. One Campag pista crank had all but disappeared from the spider downwards. I´m sorry that I didn´t take a camera; it really was a sight not easily forgotten.

Anyway, we extracted a Cinelli with the wide bottom bracket shell which dates it to about 1962/3.

Some years later the friend offered it to me. It had been built up with the cheapest stuff imaginable, but I still had a number of parts in my boxes and was able to source the rest.

The Mafacs had come from a wholesaler´s liquidation about 16 years ago, and the wonderful Campag Brooks saddle (sorry, no photo yet) I had been offered out of the blue for a very moderate sum of money. The rear mech came from America through the CR list.

The beautiful adjustable Ambrosio stem, the handlebars and the bar ends were still on the bike; they were the only parts that could stay on, even if the chrome had had to pay its toll to the damp conditions in the pub cellar. The extension had also become stuck in the fork and had to be extracted with the help of large quantities of Coke, WD40 and friends to twist and pull long bars. I vividly remember the phewing noise we all made when the beast budged at long last.

The seat pin had to be machined down twice (I used a badly pitted two bolt Campag one that had been yanked out of a rotted frame by brute force) because the seat lug had been squashed round a much too small steel pin and had to be re-shaped sequentially with the help of the pin. All back to 26.2, happy to say, and nothing´s worse for wear.

The only thing I really don´t know is: Is the bike a Super Corsa or a lesser model? The fork with its slanting crown and the chrome looks the part, but what about the frame as such? I have not been able to find out definitively what it is. Maybe someone can help?


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