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by Bernard Soler-Thèbes

At the end of 1964 Léopoldo Tartarini, the talented engineer & designer, produced the Ital-Jet Mustang (nicknamed the Boom).  With its huge fuel tank and its double-cradle frame above the engine, the machine won great popularity.

A new creation from this Italian master appeared in January 1967, under the marque name of Tarbo (TARtarini-BOlogna).  The front cycle parts were those from the Mustang: telescopic fork, rectangular head-lamp and, most of all, the Grimeca 4-shoe drum brake.  Under the fuel tank, very slender this time, was a hitherto unknown engine unit: the horizontal cylinder 49cc Jawa-CZ.  Between the engine and the strong arched beam it was suspended from, two strange plates of corrugated iron could be seen.

Here is the explanation: whilst most sports-moped enthusiasts know about the Ital-Jet Mustang and the Tarbo, they are generally unaware that, between these two commercially-produced models, there had been a still-born prototype.  At the 1966 show, Tartarini had, a little precipitously, exhibited the Ital-Motor-Jawa.  This was an intermediate model with the cycle parts of the Mustang but the fuel tank and engine from the Tarbo.  Between these two elements was a gaping hole that was much criticised by the press.  That's why Tartarini immediately abandoned production of the Ital-Motor-Jawa and revised the frame design within two months to present his sports-moped in its definitive version: the Tarbo.

After this eventful birth, the life of the Tarbo was quite short: two years later it was withdrawn from the catalogue, its place being taken by a new version of the Mustang - the Veloce.


Frame Double cradle above the engine
Suspension Telescopic with exposed springs
Brakes 118mm dia Grimeca drums, four shoes at front
Wheels 2.00×18 and 2.50×18
Fuel tank 11 litres
Weight 53kg
Engine Horizontal cylinder, two-stroke
Bore & stroke 38x44mm
Power 5hp @ 6,500rpm
Carburettor Dell'Orto SHA14
Lighting power 15W
Gearbox 3-speed, foot-change

English version first published - February 1995

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