(Note: The attempt to determine the year of manufacture from existing bike serial numbers has been abandoned as there is no discernable pattern.)
Colnago details timeline through the late 1970s. HERE
Ernesto Colnago confirms the oldest known Colnago bicycle
This is an Ernesto Colnago track bike from the period 1957/1958. The lugs were hand cast by the man who subsequently received his appointment as a “Cavaliere del Lavoro” ( Knight Master Artisan ) of the Italian Republic.
This model bike was known as “La Freccia” (The Arrow). This cycle is distinguished by its cherry red color, used in those years in the automobile industry, as well as by three white stripes on the seat tube and the fork blades.
The down tube decals have a multi-banded motif with the legend “Amateur Championship of Lombardy-1957, “ signifying a Colnago victory in this event.
The most particular feature of this model is a very narrow G11 Georg Fischer bottom bracket. This same bottom bracket was used by Faliero Masi on a track bike built for Antonio Maspes.
The wheels have hand soldered spokes and Clement Colnago team racing tubular tires.
The complete originality of this cycle has been established by a very detailed examination by Ernesto Colnago.
According to Colnago himself, as well as many collectors and devotees, this cycle is the oldest preserved example of the Colnago production and a very important landmark in Cambiago’s manufacturing history.
Mr. Luca De Ponti, Milan, Italy.
Dr George Hollenberg, translator of the original Italian test.