I just scored a gorgeous 60cm Marinoni "Special" frameset for a "can't say no" price on Craigslist. The serial number begins with a "3", which I believe either makes it a 1983 or 1993 manufacture, if I understand the Marinoni numbering correctly. The headset and seat lug bolt are both Gipiemme and the rear spacing is 125mm, so I'm inclined to think it is a 1983 frame. The tubing is Reynolds 531, and it has Campagnolo dropouts.
Marinoni lore (from what I've gathered on the web) is that Guiseppe Marinoni was an Italian racer who apprenticed with Ugo De Rosa before moving to Montreal and establishing the Marinoni workshop in the early 70's, and he apparently still does his own brazing today.
I picked it up for, ummmm...... really cheap.
The frame has certainly seen some use - scratches and a few spots of surface rust, plus considerable marking in the dropouts - but it seems to be in really solid shape. There does not appear to be any sign of rust in the bottom bracket or seat tube, and the frame drain holes do not show any telltale orange dust (The frame was pretty dirty when I got it). I removed the dropout set screws.
I am planning to send the frame to the Marinoni workshop in Montreal to have the front derailluer braze-on removed, an eyelet brazed onto the top of the front dropout and the frame repainted and fitted with time appropriate decals. The folks at Marinoni tell me they can do the work for $200-$300.
I will be building the bike up as a porteur-inspired retro ride, using a mix of new and old components (I'd imagine Velo Orange will be getting some business from me ). I'll stick with singlespeed or perhaps the SA S3X IGH.
I'll keep folks posted. Some "before" pics are attached........