Bianchi “Aquilotto”, 1953, Italy
During the fascist regime the factory founded by Edoardo Bianchi reached its peak and the company is called to account many orders from the government. The factories had been heavily bombed though (like Ducati’s) and starting over is difficult. The Brand is still associated to quality and reliable products and the new products try to exploit this.
Among them there’s a motorised bicycle, studied to house a 45cc engine, called Aquilotto that places between the auxiliary engines and the moped. In fact it keeps “the essential traits of a standard bicycle with the addition of an engine to remove the driver’s muscular strain”, as the advertisement said.
The Aquilotto is simple yet elegant and becomes a competitor to the French Velosolex. The price is definitely higher than a simple auxiliary engine, but offers a complete product so you don’t need to own a bicycle. The fuel consumption is similar to the other 2 strokes of the time, with a liter of 5% mixture you can travel for more than 80 km.
Available in different versions (normale, sport and gran lusso) it was sold at about 70.000 lire
Museo Nicolis houses a rich exhibit of Bianchi bicycles, motorcycles and cars.