People wanted to put the hunger of the war years behind them and they weren’t work-shy. Many of the women workers took the materials for making the linings home with them. My wife Luciana filled their bags up in the evening and then counted the finished linings the morning after.
AGV began exhibiting at trade fairs in this period, first at the Milan cycle show and then at the motorcycle show. Aiming above all to get the company noticed, highlighting its production capacity and extensive range, Luciana had the idea of launching a small series of riding and polo helmets. Made of fi breglass, they were elegant designs with velvet or Prince of Wales fabric covers. Only a few hundred were made, almost all exported to the United Kingdom.
The first AGV jet helmet went into production in 1956, on the heels of its launch at London’s International Motor Show in the Winter of 1955.
It naturally caused a buzz, being based on the helmets used by jet fighter pilots, while offering greater protection and eye-catching modern lines.
Carlo Bandirola with MV, followed by the Gilera 500 road racers Giuseppe Colnago and Umberto Masetti soon came to depend on Gino Amisano as their helmet supplier of choice. Money didn’t come into it. In those days, back in the fifties, you asked for no more than a couple of helmets decorated with the rider’s colours and graphics. What’s more, Gino was an amiable young man who could get on with anyone and talk about anything. Affectionately known as Ginetto by his racer friends, Amisano became a great communicator, pioneering many aspects of modern motorcycle racing.
In 1958, AGV became the first company to use a motorcycle race for its advertising. Amisano had banners hung around the most photographed bends, emblazoned with the company name and products: AGV, helmets and saddles, Valenza, Italy.