1960 Moto Parilla GS250 ; Victoria; 1960; CMM257

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Classic Motorcycle Mecca

Name/Title

1960 Moto Parilla GS250

About this object

Giovanni Parrilla (two ‘r’s unlike his motorcycle brand) was born in Spain in 1912 but his family moved to Calabria in Italy where his passion for motorcycles developed during his teenage years. After military service during the Second World War, he worked as a diesel injection pump repairer and spark plug vendor in Milan but resolved to develop a motorcycle that would improve Italy’s success in competition. He purchased a Norton Manx, dissembled it and studied it, and then reassembled and sold it on. He gave his specifications for a single-cylinder 250cc engine to Giuseppe Salmaggi, who had designed the Gilera Saturno and Rumi racing twins. Only months later in October, 1946, the new motorcycle raced at Lecco in Northern Italy featuring a bevel-driven overhead camshaft and hairpin valve springs. Parilla then produced a double overhead camshaft (bialbero) version of the engine that exhibited considerable durability, so much so that, among many high placings, one won the 1950 Milano-Turanto endurance road race and Hermann Gablenz and Roland Schell used them to dominate German 250cc racing.

In 1953, the next engine developed was a high-camshaft, 175cc, single-cylinder engine on which the chain-driven camshaft acted on two short pushrods that, in turn, acted on rockers with screw adjusters, offering the advantages of an overhead camshaft engine with the simple adjustment of a push-rod design. It was equipped with an alloy cylinder barrel in 1958 and enlarged to 200cc in 1959 and 250cc in 1961 although, in the meantime, some privateer racing engines were expanded to 239cc and a popular owner modification was the fitment of a second spark plug.

The factory developed a racing version of the 175 called the Competizione in 1953 and later, 200cc and 250cc versions were produced exclusively for the US market with the upgrades made earlier than in the home market and where they dominated the 250cc class through into the mid-1960s. The GS250 was also produced exclusively for the US where a reported 52 were imported.

This 1960 example was restored to concourse standard prior to being purchased via a US auction house for the NZ Classic Motorcycles collection in April, 2010. The engine was rebuilt with racing specification piston, connecting rod and crankshaft. The front forks are 35mm GP Ceriani while the rear shock absorbers are factory racing units and the rims are Borrani. It is equipped with Tommaselli handle bars and levers with a quick-action twist grip, and an alloy fuel tank. It was then acquired by Transport World for the Classic Motorcycle Mecca collection in May 2016.

Maker

Victoria

Maker Role

Manufacturer

Date Made

1960

Place Made

Italy

Object number

CMM257

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