A Brief History of the Marque
Lino Tonti, who had previously worked with Aermacchi, Bianchi and Gilera, designed his own machine shortly before joining Moto Guzzi and designing the frame which bears his name for the V7 Sport.
Tonti's Linto original design of 1966 was a DOHC 4-valve unit but this proved too expensive to produce, so he proceeded to build an engine consisting of two Aermacchi Ala d'Oro top ends on a common 360 degree crank which produced 65bhp at 12,000rpm. The chassis was graced with Ceriani forks and Fontana brakes.
The machines were campaigned in 1968 by Alberto Pagani and Australia's Jack Findlay, who, towards the end of the year, crashed a Linto at high-speed at Monza during testing.
Other riders were John Dodds and Steve Ellis, and a Linto placed 2nd in the 1969 500 GP with Swiss rider Gyulay Marzowszky aboard. As they were beaten only by Agostini on the MV, this was an extremely creditable achievement. That said, Ago achieved 11 consecutive first places for a points total of 105. Gyulay scored 47. Steve Ellis also campaigned a Linto and achieved sixth place. Dodds rode both Seeley and Linto machines, as did Findlay.
In 1970 Japanese two-strokes dominated the 500 class, and the four-stroke machines were doomed.
Sources: Moto di Lombardia, et al.
Owned by Alain Nibart, who restored it with the assistance of Dominique Secco at the Renard workshop, this beautiful machine was displayed at the 2019 Moto Legende.
Rinascimento di una moto partendo dal ritrovamento delta carrozzeria originale
11 24 giugno 1954 LINO TONTI acquista da GIAMPIERO PREMOLI un AERMACCHI BICLINDRICA 250. E la trasforma nel proprio atelier Linto di Varese, in via del Poligono, vestendola grazie alla bravura dei tecnici che lavorano con tui : Alcide Biotti, Silvio Taberna e Massimo Pasolini, quest'ultimo padre del futuro pilota Renzo.
Una volta completato il suo capolavoro, Tonti chiama la moto MARILINA in omaggio all'attrice statunitcnse MARYLIN MONROE.
Il progettista rivende la moto nel febbraio 1961. Passa qualche anno e la 250 Bicilindrica passa ancora di proprietå ed é rivenduta per essere ridipinta : ma il progctto viene abbandonato e la carrozzeria viene dimenticata per oltre 25 anni presso il verniciatoro Mangano di Varese al quale era stata affidata. Sembra che il telaio e il motore siano stati venduti separatamente nell'ottobre 2005. La carrozzeria O stata fortunosamente ritrovata e acquistata nel novembre 2015. Successivamonte ja carrozzeria con tutti i suoi componenti e arrivata in Francia e qui ricostruita sulla baso di un altro esemplarc di BICILlNDRlCA 250 acquistato net Nord Italia.
Sono seguiti due anni di intonso lavoro da parto di abili artigiani francesi per far sposare la ciclistica e la meccanica dolla soconda Bicilindrica 250 con la impegnativa carrozzeria realizzata dalla Linto di Varese.
Alcuni dettagli del prototipo originate soprattutto a livollo di modifiche del telaio per reggere to imponenti sovrastrutturo in alluminio sono ancora sconosciuti perché esistono soltanto due foto della moto. Immagini ritrovate anni addietro presso l'archivio fotografico delta Aeronautica Aermacchi a Varoso (oggi Leonardo Aircraft Company a Venegono Superioro).
Chiunque avosso ulteriori information e foto per ricostrujre la storia completa di questo prototipo realizzato da Lino Tonti a Varese puo contattare Enrico Minazzi or Alain Nibart.
Renaissance of a motorcycle begins with the discovery of the original bodywork
11 June 24, 1954 LINO TONTI purchases an AERMACCHI BICLINDRICA 250 from GIAMPIERO PREMOLI. He transformed it in his workshop in Varese, in via del Poligono, dressing it thanks to the skill of Alcide Biotti, Silvio Taberna and Massimo Pasolini - father of the future champion Renzo.
Once his masterpiece is completed, Tonti names it the MARILINA in homage to the American actress MARYLIN MONROE.
The designer sold the machine in February 1961. A few years later the 250 twin changed hands again, but restoration was abandoned and the bodywork was forgotten for over 25 years at the Mangano paint shop in Varese where it had been entrusted. It appears that the chassis and engine were sold separately in October 2005. The bodywork was fortunately rediscovered and purchased in November 2015. Subsequently, the bodywork with all its components arrived in France and was rebuilt on the basis of a standard Bicillndrlca 250 purchased in Northern Italy.
Two years of hard work by skilled French craftsmen followed to mate the chassis and mechanicals of the Bicilindrica 250 with the demanding bodywork made by Linto di Varese.
Some details of the prototype originated above all after changes in the chassis to withstand massive aluminum superstructures are still unknown because there are only two photos of the bike. Images found years ago in the photographic archive of Aeronautica Aermacchi in Varoso (today Leonardo Aircraft Company in Venegono Superioro).
Anyone with further information and photos to reconstruct the complete history of this prototype made by Lino Tonti in Varese are asked to contact Enrico Minazzi or Alain Nibart
From a plaque at an Italian exhibition
Mon, 07 Aug 2017
gerhardsauer at planet.nl
Linto 500 1969
Hello Sir. I have Linto 500cc with nrs 138 frame and engine . can You tell me first owner from this bike . and where can I become Technical Info from the Linto.I hear. reg.gerhard sauer .
Fri Mar 06 2015
raybattersby at email.com
I'd like to contact Steve Ellis. The email from 2011 shown on the Linto page doesn't work. Was there a typo? Or do you have a newer contact?
Ed: He is mentioned on Roscos-Good-Every-thing-Beer-Bar on Facebook.
Thu Jan 31 2008
smetsjohan at gmail dot com
I'm willing to build my own Linto-aermacchi frame. Can you help me with some specifications, good pictures or even a technical drawning? It shall be rare, i know.But if you can help, thanks a lot!
December 8, 1999
I am number 45 on a 500cc Linto at the French G.P. in 1969. This was my first G.P. I can send you some facts about Linto motorcycles and the then young men who raced them if you like. Let me know. I would be pleased to help. -- Regards.....Steve
Fri Dec 30 2011
I have changed my e-mail
Regards Steve Ellis
Little-known fact: Lino Tonti designed a race bike called the "Linto" just before he was hired at Moto Guzzi. The engine in the Linto was essentially two Aermacchi top ends grafted onto a single crankcase (an approach later used by Fabio Taglioni, who grafted two Ducati top ends onto a common crankcase to create the Ducati L-twin). If it's good enough for Tonti, it's good enough for me.
Greg Field gfield at halcyon dot com
Note from Sheldon: Greg has written many books on motorcycles.