Post Sale Update: This “Ferrari” sold for the opening bid of $14,990.
In 1952, a motorcycle appeared at the Motosalone di Milano adorned in genuine Ferrari logos. Enzo Ferrari had developed an increasingly stellar reputation for his Maranello-based company’s exotic four-wheeled offerings, so when word broke that a scoot from the Prancing Horse marque has been released, orders began flooding in, largely on the strength of the Ferrari name alone.
This appears to be exactly what the bike’s manufacturers, Milan’s Meccanica Italiana Fratelli Ferrari, were banking on, as they had no connection to Enzo Ferrari or his prestigious brand outside of simply sharing the same common Italian surname.
One of the brothers, Signore Amos, had previously worked for Parilla, and with some financial support from his brother and an additional friend, he eventually decided to branch out and start his own marque. He took the knowledge he gained with his prior employer to develop a unit-construction, eighth-liter, two-stroke single (that was suspiciously similar to Parilla’s 125 and 250 mills) paired with a two-speed gearbox and a chassis that utilized the thumper as a stressed member.
Unsurprisingly, Enzo — who actually sponsored a motorcycle racing team campaigning Rudge bikes from ‘29-‘34 — was none too pleased about the brothers from Milan “borrowing” his name, and promptly responded with a lawsuit that forced the new motorcycle manufacturer to change its name to the slightly-less misleading “Fratelli Ferrari” (“Fratelli being Italian for “Brothers”).
While the Fratelli Ferrari offerings weren’t quite as exotic or high-end as Enzo’s machines, the brothers’ bike — simply dubbed the “Ferrari 125” — did boast telescopic forks and relatively advanced rear suspenders (which appear to have been plucked straight off Gilera’s bikes of the era). Over the next three years, the company released several additional small displacement models (a 150, 160, 165, and supposedly a 175) however Amos simply couldn’t make ends meet, so at the tail end of ‘55, Fratelli Ferrari closed its doors for good.
Because the company was so short lived, information on Fratelli Ferrari is pretty scant. Further complicating the matter is the fact that following the Second World War, dozens and dozens of small displacement motorcycle/moped/scooter outfits started popping up, leading to quite a few essentially being lost in the sands of time.
This particular two-wheeled Ferrari example appears to have left the factory prior to the lawsuit, as the badges (and cases) just read “Ferrari”. The seller lists the bike as a 1955 specimen, however previous listings from past owners cite it as a ‘54. Either way, this example is said to be completely original and unrestored, and was supposedly “prepared for the Milano Taranto”. The example is currently breathing through a 22mm Del’Orto carb, though its stock 25 SS unit is included in the sale along with a handful of additional unspecified spare parts.
It’s difficult to pin down the value of these bikes as they are extremely rare, but a particularly clean ‘54 165 Roadster example brought in a cool $53.9K earlier this year at Mecum’s Monterey Auction.
You can find this 1954/55 Fratelli Ferrari 150 for sale with an unmet opening bid of $14,900 in Bassano del Grappa, Italy
The seller is Carollo Moto Classiche — an Italian dealership specializing in vintage models (if you like Laverdas, I’d recommend checking them out).