Lucchini is a brand of derailleurs manufactured in Piacenza in the Po valley in northern Italy. The company seems to have started making derailleurs in 1946 and to have continued to do so into the 1950s. It is also possible that the company made bicycle frames and complete bicycles, perhaps from the 1930s to the 1950s.
There is a bike shop called Cicli Lucchini that has been based in the Val d'Aosta since 1954. It probably has nothing to do with anything here - but I thought I would mention it anyway.
I am aware of four models of Lucchini derailleur:
- The first model is called 'Meccancambio', is operated by a rod, uses a spiral shaft and is largely steel. It has a prominent domed cap on the outside. It was pictured in Le Cycle magazine in November 1948.
- The second model is also called 'Meccancambio', is also operated by a rod, also uses a spiral shaft but incorporates a number of aluminium parts. It has a prominent cap on the outside with a flat top and striations around its circumference. There is an example in this collection. Le Cycle magazine pictured this model in January 1952.
- The third model uses a very much more compact and tidied up version of the spiral shaft design. It is largely steel. It does not have the word Meccancambio on it, but references a patent in 1953. There is an example in this collection.
- Finally I have seen photos of a fourth model. This uses the main arm of the third model above, but it is operated more conventionally by a pull-chain.