The brainchild of engineer Alfredo Bianchi and designer/aircraft pilot Mario Revelli di Beaumont, the Aermacchi Chimera was first revealed at the Milan Bicycle and Motorcycle Exhibition of November 1955. Produced from 1956 to 1964, the Chimera 175 weighed 122kg (dry) and was powered by Aermacchi’s 172.4cc air-cooled OHV horizontal single with a 4-speed gearbox. With 13 horsepower, it could easily cruise at 60mph, reach 68mph flat out.
Of greater significance was its particularly futuristic appearance. Its enclosed engine, concealed swingarm and final drive, and monoshock rear suspension hidden under the seat were all extraordinary features for the time. The Chimera also handled very tidily but unfortunately the buying public found it hard to come to terms with such space-age styling and Aermacchi only managed to sell 177 examples of the 250cc variant, along with just 119 examples of the 175cc version.
So, the Chimera 175cc is a very rare bike indeed. Coming from an important Italian collection, this matching-numbers example was restored a few years ago and it remains in stunning condition. A rare opportunity to buy a splendid example of advanced, perhaps excessive, 1950s design.