I’m not even going to tell you about the eBay auction where you could purchase this 1983 Bianchi Super Leggera ‘Specialissima’ for a measly US$2,650, because that would detract from the daydream of our father’s time when you would be approached by a farmer asking you to just get it out of his shed for him because it’s been collecting dust there for years and he needs the space for a new ride-on lawnmower. I guess this is the modern version of that story.
Aside from a couple of wear marks from a frame pump, a non-standard seat post quick release and some cracking on the gum brake hoods, this is one of the finest examples of a steed from this era. Bianchi bicicletta have the ability to inspire both passion and frustration with the bicycle connoisseur, you either get the whole celeste ‘thing’ or you don’t. Ambiguous color schemes aside, Bianchi is one of the world’s oldest bicycle manufacturers and you can almost sense the heritage oozing from every polished lug.
This ‘Specialissima’ is bedecked in pantographed Campagnolo Super Record from bars to hubs, hand painted where appropriate and it’s touches like this that make you realise this bike is as much a work of art as it is a machine. Upholstered in hand-stitched leather bar wrap and the original Turbo saddle, throwing your leg over this is the equivalent to sinking into the plush leather seats of a Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet.
So finally, who can explain the lead coils wrapped around the spokes?