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 twin-cam 250 Bialbero version. With raised compression this initially made 21hp and weighed under 115kg. 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.
In competition, Parilla 250s twice won the prestigious Milan-Taranto event during the 1950s while, in Germany, factory 250 and 350 Parilla singles ridden by Roland Schell dominated the road race scene there.The 1957 matching-numbers GP machine offered here is the final incarnation of the Parilla 250 to be built. Apart from the DOHC arrangement, it’s powered by fundamentally the same bevel gear motor as the SOHC 250 Corsa’s introduced about a decade earlier, but it has a more advanced, braced frame with modern rear suspension and magnesium brake drums.
In 1962, Giovanni Parrilla sold his company and the Milan factory was closed. At the same time, an engineer by the name of Cozzi had factory connections, and he acquired this ex Parilla Corse racer, in bits, from the factory. Cozzi reassembled the bike and sold it to the Rumi family where it formed part of that family’s collection for many years. Following that it joined Taglioretti collection before being passed the current owner. This ex factory Parilla racer is a very rare, desirable and thus highly collectible example of 1950s Italian engineering and flair.