The man behind the machine is Guiseppe Marinoni, an Italian pro racer who emigrated to Canada in 1964. He had been selected to represent Italy for a race in Quebec but was disqualfied after an incident with another rider. With time on his hands, he explored the Quebec countryside and fell in love with it and a young girl, his future wife, Simonne. He continued to race in Canada and the USA but after the movtivation ebbed, he decided to keep involved with cycling via framebuilding. Manufacturing was set up in a backyard workshop and commenced in 1974, after apprenticing with Marc Rossin. His present shop has been located in Lachendale Quebec since 1983.
Marinoni quickly developed a reputation for excellent frames, with many custom orders. In the early 1980s, on the recommendation of Canadian racer of Hugh Walton, Marinoni manufactured the frames for Raleigh's USA team, whose members would earn several medals at the 1984 L.A. Olympics on their disquised Marinoni. This was not an isolated incident. Many racers have campaigned on Marinoni frames hidden under sponsor's decals.
A perfectionist, Marinoni frames are famous for extraordinary performance, a stiff ride and impeccable finish. To ensure a high quality standard, all operations are performed in house, including chrome plating and painting. Marinoni does not advertise, instead relying on word of mouth. Despite this, the demand exceeds yearly output of approximately 1000 frames, which Marinoni refuses to increase, lest it affect the quality. About 25% of his production is is intended for the USA. In the early 1990s Guiseppe, phased himself out of framebuilding, turning the operation over to his 3 sons. He still comes in work to supervise and do some painting.
It's hard not to love a Marinoni, but none of us are as ardent as Madame Marinoni. As she is fond of joking. "Everynight, I take my Marinoni to bed with me".
FYI, the first number in your serial number represents the year of manufacture. Now, be prepared for an onslaught on picture requests.
Edit: An Omega Plus should date from the early 2000s. It's not vintage but its still a great bicycle.
Last edited by T-Mar; 12-17-10 at 07:46 AM.