Giovanni Parrilla was born in
Spain in 1912. When Giovanni was eight or
nine, the family moved to the region of Calabria
to make a better life for themselves. He was
a precocious child who seemed fascinated by
mechanical things. As a teenager and motorcycle
terror to his parents, Giovanni was a enthusiastic
rider of two wheels.
After a tour in the military,
Parrilla started work as a diesel injection
pump repairman and spark plug vendor in Milan.
Each lunchtime, at an outdoor cafe, Giovanni
would muse with his friends over their passion,
the Italian entries in the world motorcycle
racing competition. One fateful day, given
the current Italian poor showing; he blurted
out that he could build a better race bike
than the other Italian factories. It sounded
a monstrous boast to the others in the group
and they quickly bet him that he could not.
No one is certain the amount of the bet, yet
to everyone's amusement, he began.
Giovanni, early in 1946, along
with most other racing fans were in awe of
the achievements of the Norton Manx; so he
bought one. He took it apart, measured and
studied it, then, when it was reassembled,
he sold it and began his work in earnest.
Mere months later, his first
offering won a local race. A man approached
him with a wad of bills expecting to buy the
bike right there. Giovanni declined the sale,
yet promised the next one to this interested
buyer. Many years later during the late 50's
and 60's, production of the high-cam 175 and
larger Parilla Gran Sports, the Norton classical
colors and graphics were used on Parilla competition
models, in honor of Norton's contribution
to the design success of Moto Parilla.
During the following eighteen
years, the Parilla factory produced over one
hundred fifty different models. Many basic
transportation style offerings were well know
for their reliability and performance when
compared to other Italian makes, yet Giovanni
never lost his interest in producing competition
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