A Pox on Olivetti Mex

This Mexican Lettera 32, which I bought out of curiosity for $30 AUD, compares well with my 1972 Lettera 32 made in Barcelona …

LeMex32_R1

That is, until you lift the ribbon cover …

LeMex32_SpoolR

Horror of horrors! Plastic spools I can live with (when they can be replaced), but plastic spindles …

CreepyPlastic70

No surprise then, to find that the top of the left-hand spindle is broken.

LeMex32_SpoolL

You know how judges used to don a black cap before sentencing someone to death? Well it seems Olivetti decided to sentence their reputation to death by donning two of them …

LeMex32_plasticnuts

I suppose I ought to be thankful the left-hand plastic cap (which sits precariously atop its broken spindle) hasn’t been lost. 

LeMex32_L1

The other problem with this typewriter, you may have noticed, is its carriage return lever or lack thereof.

LeMex32_Lprofile

Aside from the inconvenience of having to be slow and deliberate when returning the carriage, carriage return and line spacing work fine.

LeMex32_RearPlate1

I came across another Mexican Lettera 32 on the TWDB  listed as 1968. I would have thought that it (and mine) were Seventies typewriters, and certainly not earlier than my ’72 Barcelona. But what do I know. Not a lot to be honest.

LeMex32_Typesample

Attractive sans serif elite typeface. The typing feel is good. It’s just tragic about the plastic. Was the damage to Olivetti’s reputation worth the cost saving? No.

6 thoughts on “A Pox on Olivetti Mex”

  1. Sorry, I don’t speak (or write) English.
    La mia Olivetti Lettera 32 Made in Mexico ha la LEVA DI PLASTICA DELL’INTERLINEA (6) intatta e ben funzionante … Io la trovo molto comoda…
    Inoltre non ha rondelle (di metallo o plastica) per fermare le bobine del nastro: le bobine del nastro s’infilano su perni non filettati di metallo che si adattano perfettamente al buco (largo) al centro delle bobine.
    La macchina è abbastanza precisa e funziona bene… le guance di plastica ai lati del carrello, rendono più cupo (meno metallico) il rumore degli ingranaggi…
    Carattere Pica.
    Viva la macchina per scrivere !
    25. VIII. 2019 . Massimo S. -BN -Italia

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  2. I still have an old mexican one from my college days, much like this one, still with the return lever intact, however, the spindles are metal, and the font is a serif one, much like the one listed on TWDB as a ’68 model.

    I’ve been wondering if the serial number is the one located on the right side, and if there’s way to verify what year it was made.

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  3. I try to avoid these Mexican machines. They’re really only worth using for parts – being that most of the carriage and the escapement were parts not locally produced or scrimped on.

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