These days Bianchi is owned by Piaggio and it makes high-quality racing bicycles, but for 70 years from 1897 Bianchi also made motorcycles. In the 1920s the Milanese firm turned out various single-cylinder and v-twin machines, some of which fared well in competition – during the ‘30s a 498cc OHC single enjoyed racing success with one of the riders being Tazio Nuvolari.
One of Italy’s most popular machines at this time was Bianchi’s 175 Freccia d’Oro, or Golden Arrow. Its single-cam 171cc motor featured overhead valves and the model achieved notoriety, as it became known as ‘La moto del Duce’ because Benito Mussolini was the proud owner of one registered ‘ROMA 1’.
Without sacrificing its originality, this beautifully proportioned, matching numbers Freccia d’Oro was fully restored in Italy about ten years ago.