1935 Moto Guzzi GTV 500cc

Highlights

  • Restored in Italy a number of years ago
  • Rare twin exhaust specification
  • Newly resurfaced after spending 10 years in a garden shed in Feltham
  • Requires straightforward recommissioning

The Background

Established in 1921 by Carlo Guzzi and the Parodi brothers, Giorgio and Angelo, the fact that Moto Guzzi can boast the longest continuous production of any European motorcycle maker tells us it has always been doing something right. 

The secret to its early success lay in horizontal four-stroke single-cylinder engines of 350 and 500cc which would be central to the Moto Guzzi range until well into the post-war years.
While the horizontal 500 was employed in various Moto Guzzi models, the GTV was, as the GT initials suggest, intended as a grand-touring bike. It was launched in 1934, just in time to ride the wave of Moto Guzzi’s well-publicised successes in the 1935 Isle of Man TT, when works rider Stanley Wood rode to victory in both the Lightweight and Senior TTs.

Today, the GTVs are regarded as much for their distinctive handsome appearance, with their rich paint tones, polished alloy fuel tanks and prominent ‘bacon slicer’ flywheel, as for their construction as comfortable long-distance tourers.

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The History

This motorcycle was purchased by the late Mr. Ferro in Italy some years ago. Mr. Ferro was a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast and a consummate mechanic who completed the full restoration of the Guzzi. Sadly, he was involved in a minor accident in his later years and, although neither he nor the bike were badly hurt, he elected to give up riding.
Shortly after hanging up his helmet, Mr. Ferro passed away and the Moto Guzzi was inherited by his son in England. His son treasured the bike, but never found time to acquaint himself with its individual peculiarities, and it ended up remaining in his garden shed for around 10 years, gradually disappearing beneath accumulated sundries.

He realises that the bike needs a new owner who can lavish some time and attention on it, so is offering it for sale in the hope that it will be returned to the road before long.

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The Paperwork

While we have not been able to inspect the paperwork ourselves, we are advised by the vendor that the bike comes with all its Italian registration documents and import papers, plus a receipt for shipping into Britain by motorcycle transportation specialist Chas Mortimer. 

The machine has not received a British registration and does not have a V5.

The Exterior

As may be observed, the Guzzi’s outward appearance has hardly suffered at all despite its 10 years spent in shed, which is surely testament to the quality of Mr. Ferro’s restoration. 

The beautiful deep claret paint, accentuated with orange and gold coach lines, is an appropriate period colour and provides a fantastic contrast with the brilliant shine of the polished fuel tank and outer flywheel.
While it must be noted that the paint has picked up a few blemishes over time, most significant of which is a cluster of paint chips at the edge of the front mudguard, we do not believe that the bike is actually in need of any cosmetic attention and one afternoon with a polishing rag should be entirely sufficient to bring it up to a highly presentable, show-worthy appearance.
Various parts on the bike now sport an attractive light patina, and the Giuliari seat has aged beautifully, acquiring a lot of character.
A pair of leg shields are included, but one of them may require some repairs before it can be fitted.

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The Mechanics

Unfortunately, the bike is not in running order, but after 10 years in storage that is hardly surprising. Although the engine wouldn’t start, we can confirm that it turns nicely and has lots of compression. 

The decompression lever works well and the brakes also appeared to work, although good sense dictates that they must nevertheless be carefully inspected and overhauled before the bike is ridden on the road. When Mr. Ferro suffered his accident. the bike’s gear lever was snapped and subsequently repaired with a visible weld.
All in all, we cannot imagine that it will take much to get the engine running again, and when it does go we hope it will be very sweet indeed. Closer inspection of the engine’s surfaces does show that the metal has suffered somewhat from exposure to damp while in storage and, although we believe this to be nothing more serious than a cosmetic issue, it will probably be necessary for the engine to come apart and be renovated if one should wish to get it up to a show standard.

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The Appeal

There is a certain something which makes pre-war girder-fork bikes especially attractive. Maybe it is their simplicity, maybe it is a certain quaintness in the way they look, or maybe the enthusiast just likes the feel of something a little more visceral than telescopic forks. 

Whatever it may be, Moto Guzzis stand out as some of the best-looking machines of the Vintage and Post-Vintage years.
This example promises to be a comfortable and enjoyable touring bike, but first you’ll have to get it back on the road. It should be a straightforward and rewarding project for anyone who has restored a classic motorcycle before, but even the novice should not find it excessively difficult. 

Then, when it’s all done, you’ll have a fine example of a bike very rarely seen in Britain. Eligible for Sunbeam Motorcycle Club events, it should prove to be a very versatile machine and will be sure to attract interested admirers wherever it goes.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

Please see our FAQ's here and our Terms & Conditions here

Please see our FAQs here and our Terms & Conditions here

Auction FAQs
Auction Details
  • Year 1935
  • Make Moto Guzzi
  • Model 15 GTV
  • Colour Red
  • Mileage 4,083 Kilometres
  • Engine size 498
  • Seller Type Private
  • County Middlesex
  • Country United Kingdom
  • Auction ends
Bidding history
15 Bids from 9 bidders
  • jerry-a•••• £11,500 16/02/22
  • damien.•••• £11,350 15/02/22
  • jerry-a•••• £11,100 15/02/22
  • damien.•••• £10,000 15/02/22
  • britann•••• £9,500 15/02/22
  • Holsven•••• £9,100 15/02/22
  • britann•••• £9,000 15/02/22
  • Holsven•••• £8,600 15/02/22
  • digniss•••• £8,500 15/02/22
  • stevens•••• £8,250 14/02/22

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