Giovanni Parrilla built his first motorcycle in 1946, dropping his surname’s second ‘r’ to call the machine a Parilla. Parrilla ran a business on the outskirts of Milan repairing diesel injector pumps and was also a distributor for Bosch spark plugs. Although influenced by the Manx Norton, the first Parilla motorcycle – a 250cc OHC single-cylinder racer – was a more modern design with unit construction and geared primary drive. Production of road and race Parillas began in 1947 and later that year a twin-cam Bialbero racer appeared.
The second generation of ‘high cam’ Parillas debuted at the 1952 Milan Show. One was the Fox, a 175cc single in Turismo and Competizione versions. It had a chain-driven camshaft mounted on the side of the cylinder head, with short pushrods operating the valves. Parilla’s production racer was also pretty fast – one was clocked at over 96mph. Not surprisingly the ‘high-cam’ 175 proved extremely successful on the racetrack, particularly in the USA, and 200cc and 250cc versions followed.
The matching numbers machine offered here is an ex works 175 Bialbero racer – one which was never offered for sale to privateer riders. It’s believed that just 12 were built, primarily for the long-distance Moto Giro Italia road race and the Italian 175 Championship. It features gear-driven double overhead camshafts, a large capacity racing tank and Oldani brakes. It was fully restored three years ago and a prettier period race bike would be very hard to find.