c.1957 Moto Guzzi Hispania Cardellino 73
Frame no. MGH C73 322224
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. Restored by the vendor's father-in-law, Vicente Sevilla, this Cardellino was manufactured by Moto Guzzi's Spanish subsidiary, Motor Hispaña SA, of Barcelona and is one of the first to be acquired for the Collection.
- The engine number for this lot should read C73827058.