The Barbini series of model engines was manufactured in San Stino di Livenza near Venice, Italy between 1953 and 1987. They were constructed to extremely high standards, also displaying considerable design individuality. Although their manufacture has often been credited in the past to Bruno Barbini, it turns out that the actual originator of these engines was Bruno Barbini's uncle Amelio Giovanni Barbini, always known as just plain Giovanni. Bruno Barbini was only associated with the manufacture of these engines during the final decade or so of the marque's existence.
Only two basic models were produced in this range - the B.38 series of 1 cc displacement and the B.40 series of 2.5 cc models. Rather unusually, the engines were named for the age of their designer at the time of their introduction! Both diesel and glow-plug units were manufactured in both displacements, although the 1 cc glow-plug model was not a great success, consquently being dropped fairly early on.
Although the 2.5 cc B.40 glow-plug model enjoyed a few years of International competition success during the mid 1950's, it was limited by its adherence to the reverse-flow scavenging system, hence soon being overtaken by more advanced designs from other manufacturers. Despite this, the quality of the engines was such that a steady demand from the Italian modelling community continued for many years. Production figures were very low, leaving no surplus for export. As a result, most of the engines stayed in their native Italy. They are relatively rare and highly prized collectibles today.
For the full story of this very interesting range, see the detailed article on the Barbini story to be found elsewhere on this web-site.