1972 Malanca Testa Rossa 50
With Phil Aynsley
Mario Malanca established the firm in his workshop, producing motorcycle wheel hubs and other parts. It wasn’t until 1956 that he began to make complete motorcycles using small capacity Franco Morini 2-stroke motors.
A new factory was built in 1960 to house the construction of a larger range of bikes and scooters, all powered by motors designed in-house. A 125 cc twin was debuted at the 1973 Paris Show.
Being Italian it wasn’t too much longer (1968) before the company went racing with riders Walter Villa and Othello Buscherini on board. The team won six Italian Championships in the 50 and 60 cc classes in five years.
In addition Buscherini won two rounds of the 1973 125 cc World Championship. However after his death in the ’76 Nations GP the team withdrew from racing apart from a couple of later sporadic entries in ’78 and in the 250 cc class in ’85.
Marco Malanca became CEO of his father’s firm in 1978 and production concentrated on 125 cc models but this wasn’t enough to fend off competition and the company closed in 1986.
The bike seen here in a 1972 50 cc Testa Rossa, the model at the top of the company’s range at the time. Malanca 50s with sporting aspirations began with the Nicki, then the Sprint and Competition, which was available from ’65.
The Testa Rossa used the Competition’s four-speed 4 hp (at 9000rpm) motor but housed in a new double cradle frame. Carburettor size increased from 18 to 20 mm which resulted in a top speed of over 90 km/h. Some bikes had the cylinder head painted a bright red.
A completely new 48 cc motor was introduced in 1972 which was only slightly more powerful but had a five-speed gearbox.