Tagged: 1938

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

Supercharged 1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 Stanley Woods Replica

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 L Rear

Now this is a race-replica! No mere paint, decal, and clip-on conversion here, the seller has put some serious money into a vintage machine, fitting a supercharger to an early horizontal-single Moto Guzzi PE250. Most of the early Guzzi’s I’ve seen for sale have plenty of vintage patina, but this one looks better than factory fresh, with some hot-rod touches I’ve never seen applied to a vintage Guzzi.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 L Side Front

Although current owners over at Piaggio have cast Moto Guzzi as their line of retro-riffic cruisers and neoclassic sporty machines that appeal to born-again-bikers and riders “of a certain age,” it’s important to remember their rich racing history, and this bike harkens back to that era, when Guzzi’s raced on the world stage and won.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 Dash

Prior to the introduction of their iconic v-twin in the 1960’s, Guzzi’s successes were based around variations on their “horizontal single” theme. Singles were ubiquitous during the period, when simplicity equaled reliability and light weight in the motorcycling world. Guzzi laid their engine over on its side to keep the center of gravity as low as possible and stick the cylinder head out into the cooling breeze, although I do wonder about their insistence on exposed valvesprings with the head so vulnerable to debris and road grit… Their distinctive exposed flywheel was a better idea, and allowed them to keep the weight of the engine low, since the cases didn’t need to actually enclose the spinning mass of flywheel itself.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 R Engine2

This configuration worked well on both road and track: the same simplicity that meant reliable, torquey race bikes made for durable, long-legged and easy-to-ride transportation during an era when ordinary people were just getting used to the idea of personal mobility. And later, the configuration meant for reliable transportation for a country reeling from the devastation of war.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 L Side Front

From the original eBay listing: Supercharged 1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 Stanley Woods Replica

This is a replica of Stanley Woods 1938 Moto Guzzi 250 Supercharged.

We fired it up 4 months ago and it had a problem with being too large for the Supercharger. I gave up at that point and fitted the stock setup without the supercharger. I have all the parts for the Supercharger if you wish to fit it again. 

Much work has gone into the engine for use with the Supercharger. Feel free to call me and I can better detail these for you. ph.360-387-5038.

I have over $30K invested in the bike. Some special features are: alloy fuel and oil tank, front and rear fender alloy, alloy wheels, alloy brake and shift assy, Special light weight suspension springs and alloy bellypan for them and custom leather seat and pillion. Much more…

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 SuperCharger

There is still plenty of time left on the listing, and the Buy It Now is set at $26,000. The seller mentions that there were some teething problems with the blower and it’s currently not fitted to the bike. Never thought I’d actually be typing “blower,” writing for this site… I’m not sure what “a problem with being too large for the supercharger” means exactly or what running problems that issue caused. But it sounds like it was built with supercharging in mind, so if I had the money to buy this bike, I’d definitely be sorting that out!

A vintage 250 single with a supercharger? Sign me up!

-tad

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 R Front