The 1946 Moto Guzzi Dondolino featured here is one of a series of â€śGentlemanâ€™s Racersâ€ť produced to satisfy privateers who wanted to compete effectively in circuit races and other endurance events that were immensely popular in Italy.
1946 was the first year of production for the Dondolino. That year, a Dondolino piloted by Enrico Lorenzetti won the Swiss Grand Prix at Berne. A Dondolino also won the 1946 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, with Nando Balzarotti riding. Dondolinos also won the second-division Italian Championships in 1946, 1948, 1950, 1951 and 1954, as well as third division titles in 1947 and 1948. They 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 Guzziâ€™s ruggedness and reliability afforded it stellar success in these grueling tests of rider stamina and mechanical stoutness.
Built in 1946 and updated to Faenza engine spec – three bearing crankshaft and Gambalunga valve gear in 1951, the bike has been used in many events. Paraded in Italy in the 1980â€™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. Reported to be in good / excellent general condition only 57 Dondolinoâ€™s were built in total and just a handful upgraded to this engine specification, the bike is supplied with both FIVA and ASI papers.