Italian Two-Stroke – 1957 Moto Guazzoni

In Italy, Standard by Tim HuberLeave a Comment

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Founded in Milan in 1935 by one Aldo Guazzoni, a seasoned mechanic, engineer, and motorcycle dealer, Moto Guazzoni was a moped, trike, and motorcycle manufacturer operating into the late 1970s. The company first got its start making mopeds, but eventually pivoted to producing utility three-wheelers (think Italian H-D Servicar)—churning out utilitarian trikes similar to MV Agusta’s Motocarro and Moto Guzzi’s Ercole.

Following the Second World War the company became one of the dozens of Italian firms looking to pick up a piece of the lucrative ultra-lightweight market, cashing in on Italy’s growing demand for cheap, economical transportation. Guazzoni primarily employed the use of rotary-valve two-stroke single-cylinder engines with reversed cylinders (exhaust facing rearward) that could reportedly spin at up to 15,000rpm.

In the mid-1950s, Guazzoni introduced a 200cc four-stroke single-overhead cam thumper, but from what I gather this was the brand’s only four-stroker. Turning its attention back to oil-burners, Guazzoni went on to develop of myriad of potent small displacement racers, including a particularly fast tenth-liter two-stroke racer, that went on to utterly dominate the competition at Monza in ’55 ad ’56, supposedly earning somewhere between 20 and 30 world records (depending who you ask).

Guazzoni also had official ties and contracts with an Italian company known as FBM (Fabbrica Bolognese Motori, not FB Mondial). Over the history of the company it produced a number of popular models such as the Matta, Cadetti, Matacross, Griffo, Bol d’Or, and the Guazzoncino Sport, just to name a few, prior to the company closing its doors for good in ‘78—the same year the Milan-based outfit’s founder and namesake passed away.

This is obviously a highly-condensed telling of the firm’s more-than-four-decade existence, though if you’re interested in learning more about Moto Guazzoni, I highly recommend checking out this extensive write-up on Classic50RacingClub that delves into chapters from the firm’s history such as its woes with Argentina’s Juan Domingo Peron administration and the revolution in ’57, its workings with FBM, and the story of one seriously cool dustbin racer known as the “Torpedo”.

While Guazzoni might not be a very well-known marque in North America (I’d never heard of it) examples are readily available in Europe for what seem like relatively reasonable prices. This particular Guazzoni specimen is said to be one of, if not the only example currently in the US—at least according to the seller that is. The ad specifies that this bike is from ’57, but aside from that no other info is provided. From looking at pictures of the company’s model range from the mid-to-late-1950s, I’m on the fence about what it is, but my best guess is a Guazzoncino Sport. The listings incomplete nature doesn’t make things any easier.

You can find this 1957 Guazzoni for sale here on Craigslist in Ventura, California with a price of $6,500.

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