1963 Masi Special Frameset: Nervex Pro - Pelà - 52cm - Fischer Crown (Restored, Near Pristine)
This Special is truly a special and rare frame, a significant piece of Italian road bike history. From roughly 1960 to 1963 Faliero Masi contracted legendary master framebuilder Giuseppe Pelà to build a limited number of standout frames using chrome Nervex Professional lugs. There were a couple variations on the Nervex Masi. This one features one of Pelà's signatures, a flattened and pointed "spearpoint" seatstay cap (others got Masi's standard Italian caps). The other point of variation is fork crowns. Most Nervex Masi's got Masi's usual Fischer crown (like this one has), while a few got a dotted and slotted one sans tangs (was there a name for this crown?). The brilliantly chromed lugs are lined in gold to match the fade of the unique seat tube decal. They were offered the choice of Reynolds 531 or Columbus butted (though it seems most are suspected 531). Most of these frames were sold in Italy, and a small handful (one site quotes 25 frames) were exported to the US by Velo-Sport of Berkley California.
This frame was professionally restored recently, though I wasn't told by who. It is a gorgeous restoration though! Paint is thin and consistent, lug lining is top notch.
Giuseppe Pelà was famous for never building under his own name. He built for a number of old school Italian bicycle makers such as Benotto, Gios Torino, Wolhauser, etc. He taught Irio Tommasino his craft. Perhaps more significantly he built bikes for some of the most famous racers such as Anquetil, and Merckx (including all of his bikes under the Faemino team), Rik Van Looy...
Potential show winning condition! It was built for a short period after restoration, only ridden a couple times. Even when compared against other restored frames of the era, this one is in superbe condition! It must have been reasonably unblemished before the restoration as there are almost zero signs of age coming through the paint. The only relic is the bottom of the downtube a few inches from the BB shell is a handful of small raised ridges of unknown cause. The chrome is near immaculate. There are only a few imperfections worth noting, mostly well hidden. 1) underside of non-driveside (ND) seatstay just below seat cap, ~8mm chip, 2) underside of downtube decal a few inches from its front edge, ~1cm chip and a few tiny scratches on and past the edge of the decal, 3) front of crown, chrome wear around the brake bolt, 4) rear of crown, light scratching below/right of the brake bolt hole, 5) driveside seat cap, tiny chip touching the edge of lug but actually on seat tube. Aside from that there may be a few very insignificant marks but it is VERY clean. Photos represent condition accurately.
- Frame number: No actual frame number, A 52 under BB shell to represent size
- Top tube: 52cm
- Seat tube: 52cm c-t
- Headtube: 95mm
- Rear spacing: 120mm
- Colors: Medium/dark sky blue, gold, cream white & fade panels, World Championship stripes
- Dropouts: Campagnolo long