Classic Lightweights UK
De Rosa 'Molteni' - 1973
Submitted by Neil Seaton
In the mid 1990s, I heard a rumour that someone had a 1973 De Rosa, in Molteni colours, for sale! Chance would be a fine thing, if true…… It was true! I had to hide my delight when I laid eyes on this beautiful bicycle!
The person I bought the bicycle from was the second owner. I learned that the original owner had idolized Eddy Merckx and contacted Ugo De Rosa personally to see how he could acquire a De Rosa exactly like the bicycle that Eddy rode. He wanted the best money could buy. History has shown that the original owner could not have chosen a better time to order a De Rosa as 1973 was the year Ugo De Rosa became the official frame builder and mechanic to Eddy Merckx’s Moteni team!
Ugo De Rosa hand made the frame himself, which was typical of all De Rosas before Ugo’s sons became mentored by their dad to build frames for themselves. There is no frame number or tubing sticker on the frame. The owner waited about one year to receive his beautiful pantographed 1973 De Rosa. It was imported by “Talbot’s” of San Mateo, CA USA, who were the sole importers of De Rosa racing bikes of the day. (Their shop sticker still appears on the lower seat tube).
The first and, then, current owner barely rode this bicycle and it showed as I stood looking at the nearly new condition of the bike. I have put about 300 miles on it, but now don’t use it for long rides, for fear of crashing it.
Left: De Rosa cutouts on bottom bracket Right: Drilled inner fork tangs
De Rosa pantographed Campagnolo chainwheel
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