Shortly after World War 2, Spaniard Giovanni Parrilla (two ‘r’s) ran a diesel pump repair and spark plug wholesale business in Milan. Obsessed with motorcycles and racing he acquired a Manx Norton, not to race, but to dismantle, measure and study. Along with employee Guiseppe Salmaggi, the pair soon set to work on the first Parilla prototype – a low-compression (due to the low-octane fuel available) 250 single with a gear-drive cam.
Progress was swift; a 250 Sportster road bike and Corsa racer were introduced in the late 1940s, as was a newly designed 250 Bialbero version. With volume sales of small capacity two-stroke Parillas to the Italian market and exports of larger four-strokes to the USA, business was booming and Parilla expanded into a major concern.
For reasons of cost, exotic twin cam Bialbero machines were limited in the events they were allowed to compete in, and so, in common with other Italian manufacturers, Parilla 250s were made in both single cam Monoalbero and twin cam Bialbero form.
This 250 Monoalbero GP was raced in Germany from 1955 to 1960. It formed part of a collection there for many years, and was completely restored there a little over ten years ago. Great effort was made to preserve the machine’s originality and the original, aluminium ‘dustbin’ fairing has been preserved, as evidenced by photos taken prior to restoration. Having been run at a Schottenring event in 2002, the bike was returned home to Italy to join a collection there.
It is understood that as few as six of this type of racing Parilla 250 were built to this specification. With a lightweight small-tube frame, it’s very different from the Parilla 250 road machines of the time. It’s not known how many have survived, but another example resides in the Barber Collection in the US. This Parilla is a superb example of 1950s Italian creativity and craftsmanship. Back then machines such as this really stood out, and they continue to do so day.