I'm not going to try to argue that Campagnolo's cheaper offerings for entry level bikes are worthy of much respect, though that's mainly because they are often such a stark contrast with the company's higher-end offerings. Compared with most of their intended price-point competition from the period (the non-Japanese competition, at least), they are realistically about "par for the course." But more than that, I simply find them rather interesting.
Probably the worst thing one can say about some of these derailleurs is that Campagnolo stubbornly made them long after there could be any possible market for them. Take a look at some of the bad and the ugly.
Then there's this one, from my collection:
|Around 1971 or '72, Campagnolo introduced the Velox which bore a lot of similarities with the Valentino models. The main differences are that the parallelogram is slightly more compact, and the pulley cage is of a different geometry (notice that the jockey pulley axis is in line with the pulley cage pivot). The Velox had a pretty chrome finish and these lovely jewel-like red bolts on the pivots, similar to those on the Gran Turismo of the same period.|
I'm not positive, but based on the prettier finish and the decorative bolts, I assume that the Velox was supposed to be a step above the Valentino (another reason to question that whole father/son thing).
The Velox wasn't a long-running model though. After only a few years, it disappeared from the catalog and was replaced by the Nuovo Gran Sport - which was based very closely on the Nuovo Record, but much less attractive.
|Not to be snide, but I doubt this particular patent was one that had to be defended very vigorously.|
|There's the Velox with its bigger (and heavier) brother, the Gran Turismo. There's definitely a strong family resemblance. Both have very similar stamped steel parallelogram plates, the same decent chrome-plated finish, and the pretty red "C" bolts.|
I enjoy derailleurs like these as fun little collectibles, but unless I was trying to put together some period-correct restoration of a bike that originally used one of these models, I think they really are best left as interesting curiosities and nothing more. I mean, at the same time that most of these things were being made and installed as OEM equipment on new factory bikes, one could just as easily have installed a SunTour derailleur with its innovative slant parallelogram design (introduced in 1964) that would work astonishingly better for less money.