It was 1945, the WW 2 just ended and Florence, like other Italian cities, had been freed by American allies who had landed in Italy a few years earlier. In this new scenario Gualtiero Ancillotti had the brilliant idea of developing the bikes that the Americans had abandoned in Florence, the old W.L.A., the famous Harley Davidson. Gualtiero Ancillotti had invented the ancestor of the Pro Link cushioning system. Gualtiero Ancillotti proposed this patent in the United States of America to the Harley Davidson motorcycle manufacturer, but the Harley Davidson Company replied that they were not interested in this new suspension system. Coincidentally a year later this innovative suspension system was installed on all the new bikes produced by Harley Davidson.
A fascinating image of W.L.A. the famous Harley Davidson just developed by Gualtiero Ancillotti in front of the Mechanical Workshop G. Ancillotti in Via Santa Monaca in the historic center of Florence in the ancient San Frediano district. The Ancillotti modifications on Harley Davidson motorcycles consisted of an innovative system of cushioning of the rigid and bulky Harley’s suspensions; this method greatly increased its handling and driveability. Why there were all these Harley Davidson bikes in Florence? In 1870, after the capital of Italy was moved from Florence to Rome, consular representations remained in the city and this was the reason why the first official Harley Davidson dealer arrived in Florence. In 1925 the Harley Davidson motorcycles were used by the Florence City Police. The various Italian car manufacturers, like Guzzi, which disagree with this situation, decided to put pressure on the competent authorities in order to change the regulation of the tender and to exclude the American motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson from the assignments. After the exclusion, the official Harley Davidson rappresentatives decided to to make a lower price to the Municipal Police of Florence for the purchase of Harley Davidson motorcycles of 1000 cc and 1200 c.c., they were set up with the three-speed manual gearbox, the clutch was a pedal and it had only a rear brake.