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.