Racing Replica: 1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale for Sale

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep R Front

Egret, Falcon, Goshawk, Bunting, Skylark, Condor… Leave it to the Italians to give their machines evocative but somehow whimsical names. And while this Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale may not have been named for the most beautiful of birds, the name is certainly apt.

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep L Engine

Condors aren’t pretty, but they’re eminently practical animals, able to eat almost anything and able to stay aloft for hours, searching for their next meal. Moto Guzzi’s road and race singles of the 30s, 40s, and 50s were also very effective motorcycles, famous for their long-legged and very frugal nature. They often won races against much more powerful machinery: even racebikes could achieve 45mpg or more, and the horizontal single with its distinctive external flywheel gave impressive, long-legged torque, stable handling, and a small frontal area.

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep Cockpit

The Condor was introduced in 1938 as an over-the-counter racebike and was very successful in competition, often winning races against much more powerful machinery. The “Stradale” was obviously the roadgoing version of the machine, but both road and race versions are very rare, as production was unfortunately cut short by the beginning of World War II.

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep R Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Replica for Sale

The Condor was intended for production racing and a much more sophisticated machine than its working class brethren from Moto Guzzi.It had alloy cylinder head and barrel and magnesium (electron) crankcases along with lighter steel frame componentry, bigger brakes and wheels. They were only made for 2 years with only 69 units being produced. They were extremely successful before the outbreak of war halted competitive motorcycling. They were good for approximately 28 hp and a legitimate 100mph. Due to their rarity and the nature of their use, very few original examples exist. Seldom if ever do they become available. Offered here is a faithful recreation and tribute to one of the most remarkable manufacturers and models in history. This machine was built with no expense spared by well known Moto Guzzi authority Franco Dall’aglio in Italy. This is a magnificent machine worthy of any collection or museum. The bike could not be built for as low as its asking price due to the high level of craftsmanship and use of rare and custom reproduction race parts. An original specimen will cost approxamitely four times the figure. This motorcycle is gorgeous.

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep R Detail

Obviously, this is a rare and beautiful motorcycle. But replicas are always tricky: no matter how much craftsmanship has gone into their creation, a big selling point of the real thing isn’t the actual performance or appearance, but the subjective value of a historic item and the intangible links they provide us to a bygone era. No matter how accurate a replica, it somehow isn’t the real thing. And obviously, the seller isn’t expecting real-thing-money. But with just a couple days left on the auction and no takers yet at the $30,000 starting bid, it’s obvious that potential buyers aren’t quite sure what to make of this.

It’s unfortunate, because someone has obviously gone to a lot of effort to create this roadgoing race bike replica.

-tad

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep L Rear

You may also like...

5 Responses

  1. sr88 says:

    Geez, the old MG horizontal single cylinder bikes are generally “rolling art”! Kudos to the designers of these bikes (although they have long since passed on) what a history!

  2. Chuck S. says:

    At one time I thought these were interesting motorcycles…. Then I owned one, albeit a later ’40s era 500cc model, open valve train and all. Contraption is a better description than motorcycle. One of those, “what were they thinking? – oh, clearly they weren’t !” type of experiences. Made my Scott Flying Squirrel look and feel like a “normal” motorcycle.

    Chuck S.

  3. sr88 says:

    But we are talking about this 1938 MG. Granted MG should have updated by the late 40’s (the WWII thing probably slowed down development). But in 1938 this bike was a force to be recognized for Italian and European racing.

  4. Chuck S. says:

    My Scott was a 1929 model……

  5. sr88 says:

    Good point but the Scott is a 2-stroke, didn’t have a valve train.
    Just read an article in Classic Bike about the Scott. Very advanced and fast for its time with a liquid cooled twin, 2-stroke.