1930 MGC 350cc Type N3
Frame no. 1027
Engine no. IOY/S 51263/JHE
This remarkable motorcycle is the work of the far-sighted Marcel Guiguet, pioneer of the cast aluminium frame. Seeking a better alternative to the traditional tubular steel lugged construction, Guiguet opted for a single casting that would not only act as the frame but also serve as the fuel and oil tanks. Aluminium was also used for the other frame members, which bolted to the upper structure and supported the JAP engine and Burman three-speed gearbox. When MGC (Marcel Guiguet et Cie) commenced production in 1929 this revolutionary concept represented the cutting edge of casting technology. Perhaps not surprisingly, it was dogged by faults such as porosity, cracks and cavities. The failure rate was high and MGC motorcycles are exceptionally rare today. Some measure of its historical significance may be gained from the fact that an MGC was among those selected for display at the Guggenheim Museum's 'Art of the Motorcycle' exhibition in 1998.
A rare survivor of a little known yet pioneering marque, this 'barn find' MGC Type N3 was first registered on 7th June 1930 in the French Département of Isère, where the factory was located, and then again on 9th January 1941 in the Département of Aveyron. The accompanying registration document (issued in Aveyron) dates back to 1955. The vendor's late father acquired the MGC in the mid-1950s having won it in a poker game from either Marcel Guiguet or Emmanuel Mesly (an engineer at MGC). Interestingly, MGC sales literature referred to 'brevets Mesly' (Mesly patents) which suggests that he was responsible for the design. Last ridden in 1960, the machine has been in barn storage ever since. A wonderful opportunity for the skilled restorer.
- Since going to press we have been advised by the vendor that this motorcycle was not won in a poker game, nor did it belong to either Marcel Guiguet or Emmanuel Mesly.
Depuis la mise sous presse du catalogue, nous avons été avertis par le vendeur que cette moto n'a pas été gagnée au poker et qu'elle n'a jamais appartenu à Marcel Guiguet ni à Emmanuel Mesly.