Produced from 1946 the 500cc Moto Guzzi Dondolino was one of a series of ‘Gentleman’s Racer’ bikes built for privateers who wanted to compete in circuit races and other endurance events that were immensely popular in Europe after the War. In that first year a Dondolino won the Swiss Grand Prix at Berne, the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, and also won the second-division Italian Championships in 1946, 1948, 1950, 1951 and 1954, as well as third division titles in 1947 and 1948. These enduring racers also won the first division French Championships in 1948, 1949, 1950 and 1951 and the Swiss titles in 1950 and 1951.
Although there were numerous victories in circuit races, the Dondolino really proved itself in such marathon events as the Milan-Taranto race. This event was one of many great Italian long-distance road races extremely popular in the post-war years. While the Dondolino often competed in these events against more powerful machines with greater outright top speed, the Guzzi’s ruggedness and reliability afforded it huge success in these grueling tests of rider stamina and mechanical stoutness.
This fine early example was updated to Faenza engine spec – three bearing crankshaft and Gambalunga valve gear in 1951 and has been used in many events. Paraded in Italy in the 1980’s and in the UK from 2001 the bike has featured in IOM TT parade in 2005 and competed in post TT races in 2007 as well as the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power 2010 to 2104. It remains in good / excellent general condition and has been well maintained to a high standard by a marque specialist. In ‘ready to go’ order it is eligible for a host of classic events for the experienced or novice rider as only 57 Dondolino’s were built in total and just a few upgraded to this engine specification. It is supplied with both FIVA and ASI papers.
1946 Moto Guzzi Dondolino
Chassis Number: 20991
Registration: Not road registered