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1920 Garelli

History

Garelli began in 1913 when Italian engineer Adalbarto Garelli built his first motorcycle, a 350cc two-stroke. The company started in 1919, and by 1923 Garelli established a reputation of quality and reliability by setting 76 world records, mostly for endurance. After WWII production of military equipment shifted to civilian necessities. In 1947 Garelli produced the Mosquito, a 38cc bicycle engine. Later Mosquito engines were 49cc, or complete mopeds.

Agrati began in 1900 as A. Agrati i Figli (Antonio Agrati and Sons) producing electric motors and later bicycles. In the late 1950’s Agrati produced the successful Capri line of motor scooters and was also Italy’s leading producer of bicycle parts. In 1961 Garelli was acquired by the family owned Agrati company and became Agrati Garelli.  The name “Agrati Garelli” or “Ag Gar” was used in the 1960’s and 1970’s but was shortened to just “Garelli” in the 1980’s.

FrGarelli Logoom cybermotorcycle.com  In 1961 the Agrati Garelli Group was established and production commenced in the two industrial complexes in Sesto San Giovanni, home of Garelli, and in Monticello where Agrati was based. The two businesses operated independently but with one Directorate General coordinating production which then flowed into a single distribution network with a combined sales organization. Thus began a consistent production of both basic and sports mopeds, and of motor cars, outboard engines and go-carts. Output is substantial with, for example, production of the Eureka Flex ciclomotore (moped) from 1972 to 1977 achieving some 500,000 units. In 1982, the introduction of the TSR model 125 began the production of lightweight motorcycles.

Agrati Garelli began to establish a sporting image, and after a series of records achieved in 1963 in the 50cc category with machines prepared by the engineer William Soncini, Garelli entered the eighties by taking part in the World Championship in the 50cc, 125cc and 250cc classes. The single-cylinder 50 cc has a disc valve and delivers 13 bhp at 14,800 rpm. Riders for Garelli included Eugenio Lazzarini, Angel Nieto (of Derbi fame), Fauso Gresini, Riccardo Tormo, Edward Granata, Ezio Gianola, Maurizio Vitali, Luca Cadalora, Bruno Casanova, Miguel Reyes, Emilio Cuppini, Paolo Casoli, and Domenico Brigaglia.

Fantic Motor was founded in 1968 by Dr. Mario Agrati of Agrati Garelli, and Henry Keppel-Hesselink, who was responsible for foreign sales at Agrati Garelli. Fantic produced a line of mini-bikes, go-karts and mini-enduro bikes, branded as Broncco for the American youth market. From cybermotorcycle.com In 1969 the Lombard factory launched the famous 50cc Caballero which immediately met success with younger riders due to its technical superiority and competitive pricing. In 1973 the first 125 appeared, powered by a Minarelli engine built specifically for Fantic. Late 1970’s and early 80’s Fantic mopeds also had Minarelli engines built specifically for Fantic. 

Broncco minibikes and enduro bikes were made by Fantic Motor or Agrati Garelli from 1968 to 1972 and sold by Engine Specialties, in Cornwells Heights, Pennsylvania. The 1969 to 1970 TC-4, TS-4 and BC-4 models were made by Agrati Garelli and had Garelli engines. All other Broncco models were made by Fantic Motor. See Fantic. The 1969 Broncco logo is the same as Fantic, suggesting it’s hidden identity.

So Agrati, Garelli, Fantic and Broncco were connected in the late 1960’s and 70’s. Sources are Wheels of Italy, Wikipedia-Garelli, and Fantic Motor Heritage.

american-garelliAfter the gas shortage “energy crisis” of 1974, In 1975 the US congress and DOT created new laws for mopeds. This welcomed European makers and American importers to begin selling mopeds in the gasoline-starved USA.

American Garelli East Ltd, 1211 Gadsden St, Columbia SC 29201 was the importer from 1976 to 1978.

agrati-garelli-corporation-of-america

Agrati-Garelli Corporation of America, at 1800 Edmond Rd, Cayce SC 29033, and then at North Frontage Rd, I-20, Hwy 6, Lexington SC 29072, was the importer from 1978 to 1986.

In the mid 1980’s the moped boom was over thanks to new drivers license laws or restrictions, cheap gas, and competition from Japanese makers. Most European moped makers pulled out of the US in the late 1980’s.

Fabbrica Motoveicoli was an Italian government subsidized group of struggling motor vehicle companies. The last models produced by Garelli/Fantic Motor/Fabbrica Motoveicoli were the Gary Uno and Gary Due, before the bankruptcy in 1992.