c.1957 Moto Guzzi Hispania Cardellino 73
Frame no. MGH C-73 304677
Engine no. C73 303428
Two-strokes did not feature in the Moto Guzzi range until after WW2, when the extraordinarily successful Motoleggera 65 put a whole generation of Italians on two wheels. A larger version of this air-cooled rotary-valve single - the 98cc Zigolo - first appeared at the Milan Show in 1953 alongside the Cardellino (goldfinch), which was a development of the original Motoleggera, retaining the 64cc engine of its predecessor while benefiting from a new, stronger frame. Early in 1956 the Cardellino was updated with a telescopic fork and full-width alloy hubs and later that same year a 73cc version was announced. Further developed and enlarged (to 83cc) the Cardellino remained in production until 1965. Like most Italian lightweights, the Cardellino was light-years in advance of its British contemporaries, being reliable, comfortable and endowed with excellent roadholding and handling despite rather crude suspension. This particular Cardellino was manufactured by Moto Guzzi's Spanish subsidiary, Motor Hispaña SA, of Barcelona and has been restored by the vendor's father-in-law, Vicente Sevilla.