One of the more unfamiliar faces you’ll see in a Molteni Arcore jersey is that of Marino Basso, yet the same handsome, dogged determinedness seems to be a constant feature of those early riders of the Classics and stage races of the 1960s. Regardless of the fact that Marino didn’t achieve the same glory as his team mate, Eddy Merckx, he and his two brothers went on to produce a name for themselves by creating cycling frames that were equal, if not greater than that of The Cannibal.
This particular Basso is a Monza, which still resides in a modern guise in the Basso range. It’s been built up by a customer of Fyxomatosis’ Andy White, who intended to keep it for himself. Although if Andy had done so, I’m sure the spec sheet would not include Campagnolo Super Record 11 — rather, it would be built up with a perfect period correct gruppo. Regardless, there’s something about a brand new, modern group set on a classic frame that looks reassuringly like it’s going to get ridden, and the owner has respect for what has gone before while looking to the future.
The setting for this Monza is most appropriate, in front of the café, out the front of Doherty’s Gym in Melbourne. While the Monza is full of perfect, caffeinated Italian style and speed, it’s also built with the tough gruel of champions… the bloodline of the three Basso brothers still runs through it.