Updated: June 10/2020

1980 Medici Gran Turismo

Medici appeared in 1978 and was a "spin off" from Masi USA. Gian Simonetti and Mike Howard (chief builder), who worked at Masi, build the Medicis. For details regarding the "Medici Story", I refer you to the following site (www.classicrendezvous.com/USA/Medici/Medici_and_confente.htm), where a series of messages were posted on the Classic Rendezvous e-mail list by Brian Baylis, Jim Cunningham of Cyclart, and Ted Kirkbride, people with some of the inside scoop regarding this brand. This particular bike is one of the earliest Gran Turismos with S/N less than 100. It is in original paint and was sold by Cycle World (Huntington Dr. CA) on August 15, 1980. It is made out of Reynolds 531 tubing (unusual for Medici. Early examples were built from Columbus tubing and later examples from Tange Prestige), and I also own its larger sibling in same condition. Fenders and tire pump are color matched to the bike. UPDATE from Mike Howard, March 6, 2017 John I enjoyed the pictures of your Grand Tourism. Those must have been taken when the bike was brand new right??? Thought I would tell you a little secret about your frame. You have probably noticed that the 4 cutouts on the sides of the head lugs were unusual for Medici. As you probably know most Medici frames used investment cast lugs originally designed by Mario Confente. Truth is we ran out of them and the lead time to get more of them was ridiculously long because of commitments of the foundry at that time. So while waiting for our order we had to use a substitute. I think there were less than a hundred and maybe even less than 50 made like that. Most of those were Pro Strata frames. Just a tid bit of history for you. Medici Mike Howard Pomona CA UPDATE April 8, 2017 (written by Brian Baylis on Fri, 14 Oct 2005 and sent to the CR list). Mike and all, Regarding the IC lugs used by Medici and designed by Mario Confente; the owner of BOTH companies, Bill Recht, was the rightful owner of the lug pattern. He owned both bike companies and employed all parties at each. The lugs belonged to him. I'm sure Mario knew that the money spent having the lugs cast would only be cost effective if both bikes were built using the same set of lugs. The Confente spade lug cutouts were done by a pantograph-engraving machine (the sharp tips being finished by hand afterwards) whereas the Medici cutouts were done by hand. Mario never got to use the IC lugs, his bikes were Bocama lugs modified. They look like "exactly the same lugs" to the untrained eye, but they are different. Since Mario designed the lugs Medici used, he is responsible for the "lines that just don't flow right" on the Medici lugs. Thinner filing and a better cutout would have helped the look of the lugs as Medici used them; but since they were IC for the purpose of eliminating the labor of shaping the lugs you can't blame Medici for the poor shape. The Confente has a more refined look because Mario DID use the pressed lugs to start with and then filed them like the old days. Medici was stuck using the IC lugs that were quite thick as cast. They looked clunky on account of that. I actually made a frame for myself using the IC lugs when I worked with Medici. I cut my traditional heart, spade, club, diamond motif in the lug set and they wouldn't let me put Medici decals on the frame. I filed it real nice and used my special Cinelli fork crown treatment on the fork; so there is a real nice 51cm frame out there somewhere that looks sort of like a mix of a Confente/Baylis/Cinelli sort of thing. May have had hand painted Baylis lettering on the down tube when original. If anyone sees her anywhere, send her home right away! The Medici wasn't supposed to have the elegance of a Confente. The Recht plan was to have Mario to build the high end and custom stuff while Medici built a higher volume of racing bikes about like a Masi GC of the period. They were not competing with one another, they were intended to compliment the whole business plan that Recht had laid out. A good number of bikes had to be built to justify the cost of the cast lugs; way more than Mario could build by himself. Any idiot could see that that. Somehow the Confente camp missed that critical point, which apparently lead to a "misunderstanding". Brian Baylis La Mesa, CA THE BIKE Frame: Reynolds 531 with Medici cast lugset. Original paint. Brakeset: Campagnolo Super Record calipers and levers. Handlebars: Cinelli Mod. Giro D'Italia Stem: Cinelli Headset: Campagnolo Record Shifters: Shimano bar-ends Front Derailleur: Campagnolo Record Rear Derailleur: Campagnolo Rally Crankset: Campagnolo triple Bottom Bracket: Campagnolo Pedals: Campagnolo Superleggeri Wheelset: Campagnolo Record hubs laced to Super Champion clincher rims. Chain : No name Freewheel: 5 speed SunTour Pro Compe Seatpost: Campagnolo Super Record Saddle: Avocet Touring - WII