1957 Parilla 175 Sport and 1962 Parilla 250 GS

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1962 Parilla 250 Grand Sport.
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Lovely suede Radaelli seat on the 1957 Parilla 175 Sport.
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The 1957 Parilla 175cc Sport.
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The Parilla 175 Sport's success logically led to the larger, more powerful 250. The 250GS (for Grand Sport) was the cream of the crop.
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Gas tank decals on the 1962 Parilla 250 Grand Sport celebrate 1957-1959 wins, including the Motogiro d’Italia.
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The 1957 Parilla 175 Sport.
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Intense competition in the Italian motorcycle market produced beautiful but functional designs like the high-cam 1957 Parilla 175 Sport.

Greyhounds are some of the world’s fastest land mammals, capable of sprinting to faster than 45mph. When Giovanni Parrilla (two “r”s, unlike the company name) chose a stylized greyhound for his company logo, he no doubt intended his exquisitely engineered little bikes to be pretty quick, too, as one can see with the 1957 Parilla Sport and 1962 Parilla 250 GS.

The indigenous pup, the Italian Greyhound, is much smaller than the standard breed, however, and its slender bones are notoriously fragile. There are those who would attribute these same characteristics to Moto Parilla motorcycles.

Out of the trap

Giovanni’s company, Moto Parilla, was one of the first Italian motorcycle makers into production after WWII, manufacturing a 250cc racer (and corresponding sports roadster) in 1946. Itinerant engineer Giuseppe Salmaggi (responsible for the Gilera Saturno and Moto Rumi’s racing twins) produced the design to Parrilla’s specification, which was strongly influenced by the most successful racing engine of the day, the Norton Manx. Like Arthur Carroll’s design for the Bracebridge Street boys, Parrilla specified a bevel-drive single overhead camshaft with hairpin valve springs.

The new bike first raced at Lecco in northern Italy in October 1946 with Nino Grieco in the saddle, and was launched at the Milan show in 1947. Arousing particular interest were the huge 10.2-inch drum brakes of the racer (eight inch or smaller was common on small-displacement machines), quickly nicknamed padellone (frying pans).

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