Campagnolo 50th Anniversary Groupset.
a.k.a. Campagnolo Gruppo del Cinquantenario
The 50th Anniversary Groupset is a beautiful bit of engineering and production the like of which you don’t see today. The style and design of the components is hard to match and no modern components seem to have the same soul of these components. That’s not to ignore the undoubted quality and functionality of modern groupsets but they just don’t have “it”.
Please note if there is anything incorrect in the below please let me know, I am always happy to update this page with more information.
This group was released in 1983 to commemorate Campagnolo’s 50th year in business, this was also the same year founder Tullio Campagnolo passed away.
In the region of 15,000 of these groups were made.
Group #0001 was retained in the Campagnolo museum, and #0002 was presented to Pope John Paul ll. They all came with a numbered “membership card”.
The group was based on the Super Record and Cobalto group of the era and was top of the range, with some significant extra touches. Most pieces were marked by a 22 carrot gold logo with a raised/textured Campagnolo shield logo. All pieces contained an engraved signature of Tullio Campagnolo, and a special “50th” logo.
The rear mech was the star of the group and carried all logos and the signature …
The group was supplied in a nice carrying case has a 50th logo printed on it in gold. The zippers on the case were sealed and an inventory tag detailed the contents. A close up of the seal is shown in the below gallery. I have only once seen a group for sale with the bag unopened for US$10,000; although I suspect that price tag was a bit speculative … on ebay the figure for a NOS boxed set seems to be around the £2500 – £3000 region. Used groupsets seem to fetch about £1300 – £1600 but that are loose not in the case and usually missing a couple of items. The dust cap tool seems to be particularly rare, I guess they got seperated from the group and lost …
2017 Update : Prices continue to rise and these groupsets, both used and NOS, don’t seem to be auctioned off too often; there are some very speculative “Buy it now” listings on eBay but anyone who keeps and eye on these things will see the same set come up over and over again. I keep a log book of all the groups that get auctioned which shows the prices of groups actually selling which are a bit more realistic than the other listsings. These are a good investment all the time the Eroica craze keep vintage bikes fashionable but I wouldn’t recommend them as a pension vehicle; I prefered the times when prices were resonable. I fear the increases have attracted speculators and chancers … but when the fashion ends then perhaps real collectors will be able to snap up some bargains …
This price in 1983 was 600,000 lira; according to this reference >>>
In 1983 £1 = 2,300L so that was £260. See http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=106614
Seems there was plenty of money to be made importing Campagnolo parts 30 years ago …
This video give and overview of the groupset:
This UK magazine ad shows it listed at £434; at the time VAT typically was not included in ads so if you ad the VAT @ 15% you get a list price of £499.
Today(2012) that is £774 – £1,425 depending on which base price you choose.
Either way the groupset has done a good job at out pacing inflation, and you could have had 30 years use out of it …
So compared to the top of the range groupset now cycling has become more expensive.
Once inside the group is revealed; the halves were separated by a large grey foam pad (shown in the gallery) to protect them from the other parts when packed.
Also in the group was the invitation to register your group with Campagnolo. The requirement was to sign the membership card and complete the back of the slip and return it to Campagnolo who would then register your numbered groupset and return your authenticated card. This would allow you to buy spares for the group in the future that were not for general sales.
I have no idea if this still holds today; perhaps I could do this to get the hubs I’m after…
Here is the paperwork unused for the groupset.
Note that the decal is a reproduction, if you want one let me know.
I have also made some reproductions of the packaging and comps slips and label.
I have now acquired an original decal that was supplied with the set.
I also met an old Belgium woman at a bike jumble in the Netherlands who was selling all sorts as the family was closing down the shop. She had all sorts of decals for sale; including the middle one below.
I have never seen this before; she had 3, I bought them all. I have used one on my Montello build … the other two are not for sale. (I have since seen repro’s of the gold one on eBay; I’m guessing someone copied the design from the below scan as I have never seen them referenced anywhere else …)
The group even had a specific crank dust cap tool that is engraved with the 50th logo!
Unlike modern groupsets the 50th set pretty much included all the bits you need to build a bike bar the frame, bars, saddle and rims
This group includes the following:
Note each set had a range of options shown on the label on the right. Each set was sealed with a Campagnolo crimped tie and the label on the outside detailed the options of that particular set.
– Crankset: 53/42t with Gold Dust Caps
– Pedals: with titanium axels and Gold Dust Caps
– Toe clips
– Brake levers (non-aero) with Gold Logos
– Brakes arches: recessed nut with Gold Logo
– Downtube gear shifters
– Front derailleur: for double crank, bottom pull
– Rear derailleur: short cage with Titanium Bolts and Gold Logo
– Hubs & QR skewers: 126mm rear spacing, with Gold Logo on the Skewer
– Seatpost binder bolt
– Headset: 1″ threaded
– Bottom Bracket
– Dust Cap Tool Engraved with 50th logo
– Brake cables/housing, 2 shift cables, derailleur coil housing
– Certificate membership card
– Frame Decal
– Inner blue plastic component holders, black outer carrying case
Here is the group open ….as you can see I am missing hubs; if anyone has any 50th hubs (32 hole Italian thread but I am not fussy, or complete wheels) please let me know. ***
Note: The groupset didn’t have a specific BB & Headset. The Headset was Super Record. The BB seems to be a matter of some debate:
I got the below message from Nigel @ CampyOldy.com
“I could no longer contain my curiosity and found my 50th group #3725 has normal steel cups & axle NR BB set. H/set is alloy SR as expected. Its a BSC threads set not surprisingly as I bought it from an importer, there would have been very low demand for IT thread sets here 30yrs ago. It is perfectly possible that Camp put Tita sets in say IT sets for a while, who knows; no-one still working there for sure.”
The only NOS set I have examined contained a NR BB with steel axel.
There were also a number of pantographed stems produced. Campagnolo 50th Anniversary Pantographed Stem – 3TTT Criterium
*** 2014 Update:
I finally have found a 32h ITA thread rear hub so my second set is now complete; at some point I guess I should take the photo of the boxed group again. Below are the hubs …
Very early versions of the group were supplied as below; these were the images used in the adverts.
I have no idea if these were shipped like this or were just prototype groups used for the advert photoshoot.
The Groupset has also inspired artists.
The drawings were done by Roger Watt http://watt-art.com/ and have been reproduced below with his permission.
This is what he said about his “model” …
Back in 1984, I had a bike built for me by Paulo Garbini at the Soho Cycle Shop in London’s Soho which incorporated the 50th Anniversary Groupset. The metallic crimson Columbus frame carried Paulo’s own decals and the forks were stamped with “PG”.
The Groupset has also inspired photographers.
There was also an art poster produced based on the groupset.
The photographer was Michael Furman and it was printed by Scandecor of W.Germany.
I have one of these up on the wall in the garage 🙂