Moto Guzzi, the world’s most famous Italian motorcycle manufacturer, was established on 15 March 1921.
To celebrate the anniversary, the Piaggio Group announces a special edition of the GMG – Giornate Mondiali Guzzi – in Mandello del Lario in mid-September 2011.
Pre-launch exhibit of the latest entries from Guzzi at the Spazio Broletto 13 showroom in Milan: the Stelvio 1200 8V and 1200 NTX, and the Norge GT 8V.
Mandello, 14 March 2011 – In parallel with the festivities for the 150th anniversary of Italian unification, Moto Guzzi – the world’s most famous Italian motorcycling brand, the symbol of Italian engineering and technology – is celebrating its own 90th anniversary.
The Piaggio Group is marking the anniversary with an eagerly awaited announcement: a new edition of the GMG Giornate Mondiali Guzzi world days at Mandello del Lario in mid-September. A special “90th Anniversary” GMG is being organised for thousands of Guzzi devotees from all over the world – more than 16,000 bikers met up at the 2007 event – to celebrate the Eagle brand, meet the new Moto Guzzi models and see for themselves the modernisation and renovation work that will be transforming the historic facility in Mandello del Lario into a factory where 90 years of motorcycling history will live side by side with state-of-the-art production technology.
A special GMG and new entries from Moto Guzzi
The 90th Anniversary GMG will be the culminating event in a year devoted entirely to ninety years of Moto Guzzi with a wealth of initiatives, on the product front first of all: the company is about to launch two new large cc models – the Stelvio 1200 8V and 1200 NTX and the Norge GT 8V – which can already be seen at the Piaggio Group showroom in via Broletto 13, Milan. 2011 was designated as the year of Moto Guzzi on 28 January, at the international convention of the Group’s two thousand dealers in Montecarlo, when Group chairman and CEO Roberto Colaninno unveiled two prototypes heralding the future product strategies for the Eagle brand: the prototype of the new Moto Guzzi California, featuring an original 1400cc transverse V90 twin-cylinder engine, and a Scrambler version of the V7 750cc.
15 March 1921: a legend is born
On 15 March 1921, in the office of notary public Paolo Cassanello, the “Società Anonima Moto Guzzi" company was established in Genoa, for the "manufacture and sale of motorcycles and all other related activity in the metalworking industry". The partners setting up the new enterprise were Emanuele Vittorio Parodi, a well-known Genoese shipowner, his son Giorgio and his friend Carlo Guzzi; Parodi and Guzzi had served in the Italian Air Force together with Brescia-born Giovanni Ravelli, a pilot killed on 11 August 1919 during a test flight and remembered by the founding partners with the winged eagle, the symbol chosen for the new company and soon to become famous all over the world as the Moto Guzzi emblem.
This was the start of an industrial enterprise based in the Mandello del Lario facility – the factory where Moto Guzzi bikes are still produced today – that would lead developments in world motorcycling, with bikes that have become historic milestones; bikes like the GT 500 Norge (1928) ridden to the Arctic Circle by Giuseppe Guzzi and the Airone 250 (1939), the best-selling Moto Guzzi model before the arrival of the Guzzino 65 (1946), better known as the Cardellino, which, together with the Galletto (1950), would play a key role in the mass motorisation of Italy. During that period the company installed its wind tunnel – the industry’s first, and still visible today in Mandello del Lario – developed by a closely knit team whose members included engineers Umberto Todero and Enrico Cantoni and a designer who would soon enter the hall of fame: Milan-born Giulio Cesare Carcano, designer of the incredible Otto Cilindri with a speed of 285 km/hour (in 1954) and the prototypes that, from 1935 to 1957, notched up an impressive 14 world speed championships and 11 Tourist Trophies.
From the V7 to the California
During the 1960s, after the lightweight Stornello and Dingo, Moto Guzzi developed the 700cc V90 twin-cylinder engine with final shaft drive assembly, which, together with its subsequent versions, would come to symbolise the Mandello brand on a series of mythical models including the V7 Special, V7 Sport, California and Le Mans. On this architecture, the powertrain was later adapted to smaller categories and evolved continually, so that it powers today’s most popular Moto Guzzi models like the V7 Racer, the Stelvio 8V 1200 and the Norge GT8V: bikes that will be among the stars at the sixth GWD, to be held in mid-September at the company’s historic location in via Parodi 57, Mandello del Lario.
New models in Milan, “Raid dei 1000” rally in Genoa
In Milan, on the eve of the international press launch, motorcycling devotees can see for themselves the latest entries from the Eagle brand: the Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V and the Moto Guzzi Stelvio, the latter also available in an all-terrain NTX version. The display in Spazio Broletto 13 – the Piaggio Group showroom in via Broletto 13 in central Milan – also includes the Moto Guzzi clothing and accessories ranges.
Meanwhile, the Moto Guzzi World Club, the association of the main Italian and international Eagle bikers’ clubs, will be celebrating the anniversary in Genoa’s Marina Airport district on 19 and 20 March, welcoming the bikers taking part in “Raid dei 1000”, the Moto Guzzi rally that left from Genoa Quarto on Saturday 12 March. The rally followed the route taken by Garibaldi and his troops that led to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy.