The Chimera (Italian For “Dream”) was a model introduced by Aermacchi in the mid-1950’s. Penned by Alfredo Bianchi as his first project with the Italian firm, the Chimera’s design was loosely based on a sketch done by (500cc GP) moto racer and car designer, Count Mario Revelli di Beaumont. A completed prototype made its debut at the Milan Show, followed shortly after by the release of the production model in ‘56.
Hidden beneath the Chimera 175’s bodywork was a 13hp (at 6,500rpm) air-cooled, 172.4cc, pushrod single with aluminum cylinder head and (split) crank cases. The engine — which hung from a tubular steel spine chassis — was fed via a single 22mm Dell’Orto carburetor and was married to a four-speed unit-construction gearbox with a multi-plate clutch controlled via a heel/toe shifter on the righthand side. With a dry weight of 269lbs, the Chimera 175 boasted a decent top speed of just under 70mph.
The Chimera 175 reportedly sold new in the mid 1950s for $212 — a figure that translates to a little over $1,900 today with inflation. Aermacchi also offered a quarter-liter version of the Chimera, though aside from the larger displacement, the two models were otherwise virtually identical.
Despite a positive reception from moto journalists of the era who praised the Chimera for its a interesting appearance, the public failed to embrace the sleek scoot. Production nonetheless lasted a total of nine years before the plug was pulled in ‘64, however during that time only 296 examples were built — 119 units of the 175cc version and 177 of the 250cc.
As you can see, the Chimera’s alloy bodywork was largely what set it apart from the rest of the small displacement offerings on the market in the ‘50s. On top of providing an aerodynamic advantage, the mid-section bodywork actually doubled as the horizontal single’s crank case covers. On top of the sleek bodywork, another noteworthy feature on the Chimera was its rear suspension setup; a hydraulically damped spring monoshock.
This particular 1957 example is said to have been restored to “museum condition”, and based on the photos, the seller’s description seems accurate. The ad also says there’s zero miles on the odo, though I assume it means since the restoration’s completion. With less than 300 units ever built, clean Chimera examples are seldom found, and as this specimen demonstrates, they don’t come cheap.
You can find this 1957 Aermacchi Chimera 175 for sale in Bassano del Grappa, Italy at Carollo Moto Classiche with an unmet opening bid of $13,999