The Masi Special: speed and elegance for Antonio Maspes
The Masi Special was tailor-made for one of the 1950s’ world champions of speed, Antonio Maspes. Designed by Faliero Masi (1908-2000), it made its debut in 1952 in Milan’s Vigorelli Velodrome.
During his career, the Tuscan mechanic was successful with many legends of racing: Fiorenzo Magni, Fausto Coppi, Hugo Koblet, Louison Bobet, Rik Van Looy, Felice Gimondi, and Eddy Merckx were all among his clients. So was Jacques Anquetil – for whom Masi prepared a masterpiece of a bicycle in one night, in 1959, when the French cyclist realized that the two-wheeler he’d brought was not adequate for the Vigorelli track. Thanks to that outstanding last-minute job, the next day Anquetil broke Coppi’s 1942 record.
The man who rode the beautiful Masi Special we showcase here, instead, had the honor of adding his name to the velodrome, which is now known as Maspes-Vigorelli. Today, as Alberto Faliero continues in his father’s footsteps, “cyclist haute couture” still has its stronghold under these steeply banked tracks.