Moto Parilla was founded in Milan in 1946 by Giovanni Parrilla. He was
born in Spain and emigrated to Southern Italy during the Second World War.
He started to manufacture motorcycles in his small workshop specializing
in the repair of diesel injectors and pumps. He went on to produce an array
of small displacement scooters, mopeds and motorcycles. He changed the
spelling of his name to one "r" for his motorcycle marque. Rather than
build inexpensive two-strokes to power the populace in the days following
World War II, Parrilla created a full-bore, thoroughbred 250cc overhead-cam
racer that was soon rivaling Moto Guzzi for the checkered flag. By 1954,
Parilla's racer was the High Cam 175cc MSDS, also known as the Grand Sport.
The Parilla High-Cam Engine
The High Cam engine featured overhead valves operated by short pushrods
and a cam placed at combustion chamber height on the engine's side. The
cam was driven off the crankshaft by chain, or, on some advanced racers,
by a train of lightened, straight-cut gears. This engine design offered
the benefits of an overhead camshaft without that system's bulk. The result
was an all-conquering production racer that swept Italian and American
Running the Giro d'Italia
The ultimate Italian race to win in the Fifties was the Giro d'Italia,
or Tour of Italy, that ran over six days and more than 1,000 miles. For
the 1957 race, Parilla fielded a team of seven MSDS racers outfitted with
dual-plug heads, twin batteries, and a special double-filler gas tank.
The team's efforts were not in vain: rider Giuseppe Rottigni endured the
distance and took home top honors for Parilla. There was no need for Giovanni
to put the "r" back in his firm's name - all he had to do was make his
middle initial a "v." V for "victory," that is.