The portable ‘lettera’ typewriter was designed by Marcello Nizzoli for Olivetti in 1963 and was made until 1975. It was a popular machine for journalists- and this was the baby Cormac McCarthy used to write his novels [well, not this exact one- his was sold in 2009 for $254,000. McCarthy bought it in 1963 for $50.]
The lettera features automatic ribbon reversal at the end of the spool [rather handy] and prints in black and red ink. The typewriter ribbon is still available for purchase and the ribbon in the machine is still good to go. The lettera comes in a stylish vinyl case [not pictured] which makes it truly portable and it is working perfectly – take it from an old touch typist.
There are a number of sites devoted to typewriters and typewriter collection: two good ones are: http://www.mytypewriter.com and http://www.oztypewriter.blogspot – the organ of the Australian Typewriter Museum in Canberra. Both sites speak highly of the lettera- it’s ‘beautiful and a work horse’.
A working lettera in its original case on Ebay is worth upwards of $475 – and I am loathe to part with it because it is such a fine machine.
For you, dear reader, it is offered for sale for $AUD325.