Rumi Formichino, 1957-1960, Italy
Rumi was born in the 20s in Bergamo as a foundry producing propellers and periscopes. After WWII the company started a new business as motorcycle engine manufacturer and later complete motorbikes.
Rumi motorcycles always stood out for their originality, both stylistic and technical, so much so to be defined as the artist’s motorcycles also because their “father”, Donnino Rumi, was a talented painter and sculptor who dedicated most of its time to art after retiring from the industrial activities.
The 1950s saw a florid period for the scooter market in Italy, soon dominated by Vespa and Lambretta. Rumi wanted to join the party first with the Scoiattolo an later with the Formichino, unveiled in 1954.
The unique shape of the latter was designed by the founder Donnino Rumi who seemed to have started modeling some clay around the engine placed on stands.
The engine was the same used on the other company models: a 125, and later 150 cc, twin-cylinder engine.
The Formichino will be produced in different versions: Normale, Lusso and Sport and a reasonable commercial success also due to its victory at the Bol d’Or, celebrated also with a special gold edition.
The scooter will kept its shape mostly unchanged until the end of production, that will correspond to the closing of the company after a financial distress in 1960.