c.1956 Gilera 499cc Saturno Cross Frame no. 268722 Engine no. 268722

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Lot 590
c.1956 Gilera 499cc Saturno Cross
Registration no. Unregistered Frame no. 268722 Engine no. 268722

Sold for £ 12,075 (US$ 16,384) inc. premium
c.1956 Gilera 499cc Saturno Cross
Registration no. Unregistered
Frame no. 268722
Engine no. 268722
• Iconic Italian model
• Rare moto-cross version
• Restored condition

The best known and most successful large-capacity Gilera roadster of the immediate post-WW2 period was the Saturno. First seen in 1940 in competition guise, the Saturno - a 499cc, overhead-valve, four-stroke single - did not enter production until 1946 when it appeared with the horizontally-sprung, friction-damped, swinging-arm rear suspension first seen on the pre-war blown 'four' racer. In the late 1940s the factory built a limited number of Competizione versions of the Saturno, and this model resulted in the more highly developed San Remo racer that featured a more powerful engine, blade girder fork and full-width front hub. The design's next development, the Corsa, arrived in 1951 boasting a revised engine with increased finning and a larger sump. A telescopic front fork and conventional hydraulically damped rear shock absorbers made their first appearance on this model, giving rise to the name Piuma (feather) because of the ease of handling these advances conferred. Major changes to the Turismo and Sport roadsters were mainly confined to the cycle parts, which were updated with a telescopic front fork and full-width alloy front brake for 1951 and conventional coil-spring dampers at the rear soon after.

Following some successful ventures by privateers, in 1952 the factory introduced a moto-cross version of the Saturno, which would remain in the catalogue until 1956. The Saturno Cross was based on the Corsa road-racer, undergoing little by way of modification apart from a 21" front wheel; 'knobbly' tyres; straight-through exhaust pipe; sump bash plate; leading-axle front fork; and changes to the tank, seat and mudguards. The factory's top 'dirt' rider was Domenico Fenocchio, winner of the 1955 Milan-Taranto road race, who won the Italian Moto-Cross Championship three times consecutively between 1953 and 1955. Production of the Saturno range continued until 1959, its passing marking the end of the line for one of Italy's truly great classic motorcycles.

This restored Saturno Cross was purchased in 2008 from its owner, Mr Angelo Viganò, and comes with the purchase receipt and its Registro Storico Gilera registration card.
Contacts
c.1956 Gilera 499cc Saturno Cross Frame no. 268722 Engine no. 268722
c.1956 Gilera 499cc Saturno Cross Frame no. 268722 Engine no. 268722
c.1956 Gilera 499cc Saturno Cross Frame no. 268722 Engine no. 268722
c.1956 Gilera 499cc Saturno Cross Frame no. 268722 Engine no. 268722
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