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Société des Moteurs Anzani

Alessandro Anzani in 1906, on his Fan type-engined motorbike

Anzani was an engine manufacturer founded by the Italian Alessandro Anzani (1877–1956), which produced proprietary engines for aircraft, cars, boats, and motorcycles in factories in Britain, France and Italy.

From his native Italy, Anzani moved to France where he became involved in cycle racing. He moved on to motorcycles and designed and built a record breaking lightweight engine. In 1907, he set up a small workshop in Paris with three staff and while they were building his engines, he designed a hydrofoil powered by one of his engines and propellers. The original Anzani Moteurs d’Aviation was situated at 112 Boulevard de Courbevoie, Courbevoie, Paris.

He supplied one of his engines to Enrico Forlanini and developed it further into a three-cylinder, air-cooled, radial engine ideal for the new aeroplanes. One of the early engines, the 25 hp Anzani W-3 or Fan type, was supplied to Louis Blériot who used it on his successful crossing of the English Channel in 1909.

Demand for the engines continued to grow and the original Paris workshop was replaced by a new factory at Courbevoie, Paris, and one in London was also added as well as licensed production by other makers. Another factory at Monza, Italy was added in 1914.

In 1920, Anzani turned to motor racing and built a small car with one of his 750 cc two-cylinder engines, air-cooled of course, which won several competitions. They also made a 1098 cc cyclecar between 1923 and 1924, as used in the T.B. Sports cyclecar.

On his 50th birthday in 1927, Anzani decided to sell his factories in Paris and London, keeping only the Monza works for sentimental reasons, and managed by Natale Baccanti.



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