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1939 Gilera Saturno


  • Exquisite pre-war bike with fabulous detailing 
  • Recently imported from Italy where it was in a collection  
  • Works just as well as a beautiful static object 
  • Huge history file including all original service books 
  • Very rare to find in this condition 

The Appeal 

In 1937 Giuseppe Gellera of Gilera acquired the racing programme of rival Rondine. This was a little like getting the keys to the space programme because Rondine had the most advanced bike in the world, one that was extremely fast. 
This wonderful 500LE displays all the features that make this bike as delightful to look at as to ride. Recently imported to the UK from a private collection in Italy it is now on local plates and comes with a vast history file that includes all its original service books. These bikes are highly collectable for very obvious reasons and this one looks very tempting.  

The History and Paperwork 

  • We are told that this is a 1939 500LE
  • Recently imported to the UK from Italy 
  • Previously in the long term ownership of an Italian collector 
  • Displays its Italian plates but now wears a UK registration 
  • Sold with import duties and registration documentation paid 
  • We are told that the thick history file includes all service books 
  • The vendor advises that everything works and it has been road tested 

The Condition 

  • Superbly detailed bike in factory correct trim 
  • Likely to have been restored and remains in very good condition 
  • Some very minor signs of age such as light chrome tarnishing on the tank 
  • Beautifully detailed Gilerna decals across front mud guard and tank 
  • Good chromework with only the previously mentioned patina 
  • Smart chrome wire wheels with factory correct red central trim 
  • Fully sprung frame with sophisticated and gorgeously detailed rear suspension 
  • Grips and rubber trims present well with no visible signs of use 
  • Stitched and sprung seat in week kept condition with no marks 
  • Black painted trim elements appear to have been restored with little deterioration 

The Mechanics 

  • 499cc OHV single cylinder air cooled engine designed by Giuseppe Salmaggi 
  • 36bhp and said to be good for 85mph 
  • 4 speed transmission with chain drive 
  • Sprung girder front suspension 
  • Patented horizontal spring friction damper rear suspension 
  • This combination is said to have provided excellent ride 
  • 8 inch aluminium drum brakes 
  • Great detailing including the aluminium engine castings 
  • We are told there is a thick history file covering servicing and maintenance work 


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This vehicle is “Sold As Seen”, on an “As Is, Where Is’ basis and without warranty. A full inspection of the vehicle prior to purchase and bidding is highly recommended. Photos and descriptions are for guidance purposes only. 

✓ VAT is included in the buyer's deposit. VAT may or may not be included in the final bid or offer price, as specified in the listing. 

UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check, to verify that they show no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and have no finance owing. 

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1939
  • Make Gilera
  • Model Saturno 500
  • Colour Red
  • Engine size 499
Listing Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Town Gosport
  • Location Hampshire
  • Country United Kingdom

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