RE: <http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=58092& item=7108089372 &rd=1>
> > The Masis I've seen with the big "M" cut-out are California Masis from the
> > 1980s or later (during the Simonetti years???)
>I bought a Masi Gran Criterium in 1974. It has the big M cutout.
>When i look at the ebay pictures, the only difference I see between my bike
>and the eBay bike is the yellow head tube, the scratches and the
>size. Same color, same components. The pictures don't show decal detail
>so i can't compare those or the fork crown.
>The serial number/frame size on my Masi starts 'MC'. I never knew if that
>meant Masi of California or Masi Carlsbad or Mario Confente or Milano
>Constructe (made in Milan) ;)
>I remember the comments when I got it about the world champion stripes on
>the seat tube. Some of the masis sold at that bike shop had stars &
>stripes instead. Someone said that meant made in Italy instead of USA.
>??? But they all had the big M cutout in 1974 at that bike shop.
>Mighty Cool Rick Paulos
>Cedar Rapids, Iowa
The "M" cutout predates the Carlsbad shop... it first appeared on Italian Masis in late 1971 after a short period of instability during which terrorists had apparently taken over the Masi shop, producing at least five completely different BB cutouts over a year and a half period. But such inconsistency never affected the Carlsbad shop... since 1973, all American Masis had the "M" cutout, until 1984 when it became a paint-filled "M"-shaped depression.
World Champion downtube bands do not indicate country of origin... Carlsbad had them and used them often. Brian, for one, mentioned that early on he shied away from the stars and stripes bands, preferring the traditional look of the WC bands. The stars & stripes bands do seem to be much more common on the later frames, #450 - #0400... By the way, there were two varieties of stars and stripes bands, one had a band of stripes on the right side of the bike and stars on a blue field on the left side (the bike in question on Ebay has these). The other, more common variety had a complete circumferential band of stripes with a band of stars above and below. Several stars & stripes frames actually appeared with one of each... whether by design or confusion, who knows.
I think I remember Brian saying that no one was ever sure if "MC" at first meant "Masi California" or "Masi Carlsbad." One thing you can be absolutely sure of... it does NOT stand for "Mario Confente" or "Milano Constructe" (the former being the second most popular Ebay Masi Urban Legend, next to: "This bike was autographed by Faliero Masi...").
John Jorgensen and I have been conversing a bit off-list about this bike... we were both curious about that short, straight-sided triangular cutout on the downtube tang of the bottom bracket. I compared it with every photo I had of Italian cutouts and it wasn't even close to any of them. And of course it's not on any of the "regular issue" Carlsbads which have a small oval... but eagle-eyed John said it looked a lot like the cutout on Paeng Nepomuceno's Confente fixie (retro section, Campyonly.com). Sure enough, I've got photos of seven different Confente BB's and that same triangle is on every last one of 'em. So maybe that's a hint to the true origin of this bike...
Bob "Yet ANOTHER one that's not my size" Hovey Columbus, GA