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.
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.
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.
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.
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.