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


That is, until you lift the ribbon cover …


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


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


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 …


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


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


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


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.


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.