When Aermacchi first manufactured it in 1956, the Chimera 175 was an incredibly futuristic motorcycle. Indeed, it probably was too futuristic for its own commercial good, as some of the technical and aesthetic solutions it featured likely curbed sales. For example, the company later decided to change its closed fairing and single rear shock absorber hidden under the seat – extraordinary peculiarities at the time. Going back to a double shock absorber and “undressed” engine immediately made the Chimera easier to market.
Designed by specialist Alfredo Bianchi and designer/pilot Mario Revelli di Beaumont, the Chimera was presented at Milan’s Bike Show in November 1955. In the words of Revelli himself used on that occasion, it offered “swift elegance of shapes, all oriented to dynamic lightness and penetration: this is – and will continue to be – a machine for today and for tomorrow, within an industrial plan that aims to uphold progress in functional styling, through the product’s high technical standards. The Chimera proves how insubstantial any doubts were about the possibility of finding a perfect balance between the needs of industrial design and those of mechanics specialists”.
In fact, a few doubts remained. That machine was for tomorrow, not for today. The only missing ingredient to strike that perfect balance was time, and could not be rushed.
Text and images found ItalianWays
Filed under: Motorcycles, Retro technology, The fifties Tagged: 1956, Chimera 175, Italian motorcycles