Vista Torino - Vista catalog, 1970s
Credit: Zaz Databaz
(Zaz Von Schwinn) on Flickr
The Vista Torino 100 painted in “Sparkling Red” is the exact same bicycle I received from my parents in 1970 on my fifth birthday. Vista was a subsidiary brand of Columbia and has long since disappeared. That’s a real shame because, as all of my friends’ Huffy, Spyder, Schwinn, and other bike brands of the times fell apart and rusted, my Vista kept right on going…and, believe me, I beat the living crap out of that thing especially once I became old enough to ride out of my mother’s sight for more than just a few minutes. Not much ever went wrong with that bike and, even though I had outgrown it in both size and temperament, I was still sad to give it up for a ten-speed in 1979.
Yeah, it’s not much of a picture and, in restrospect, maybe it looks like a silly design. Still, just like one’s first car, that first taste of freedom and being able to go anywhere a pair of feet could stand to pedal is never forgotten…especially if the machine in question ended up being a long-time companion.