An Oliver in Italian Garb!
The curator sent the picture to Peter Hunn (author of The Old Outboard Book and other other outboard related books) and Peter replied in part that "...It's my impression-mostly from chatting with some vintage outboarders in the UK-that as the Perkins line was biting the dust, all kinds of deals (for excess inventory) were made around the world. Reportedly Oliver did the same prior to connecting w/Perkins.
Sure would be nice to have this cousin join us at Ollie Central!!!
Update June, 2008: We have been informed by a reliable source that the Franchi "branded" motors were produced in Peterborough, UK.
Also, the same source mentions that Perkins produced Rootes branded motors for the Rootes Automotive Group during 1962. Perkins subsequently sold the line to Rootes (which in turn sold to British Anzani).
From Jack Pedersen:
Note the 35hp "cutaway" on lower right. Interesting.
From the Museum Archives:
1956 "K" model pre-production publicity photos. Likely taken summer or early fall 1955 at Gull Lake near Battle Creek