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Moto Guzzi celebrates its centenary

To celebrate this anniversary, tens of thousands of enthusiasts will converge from all over the world to their capital of heart, the municipality of Mandello del Lario, on the shores of Lake Como. For three days, from September 9 to 12, Moto Guzzi, Comitato Motoraduno Internazionale and the municipality promise “to organize a unique and unforgettable event”. For the occasion and throughout 2021, the entire Moto Guzzi range is offered in an exclusive “Centenary special edition”, inspired by the legendary “Otto Cilindri racer”.


The symbol of an eagle dates back to the military service of the company’s founders, Carlo Guzzi and Giorgio Parodi, in the aviation branch of the Royal Italian Navy during World War One. It was during the war that the two friends, as well as the pilot Giorgio Ravelli, decided to try the manufacture of motorcycles, once the conflict was over. Ravelli was killed in an accident in 1919 and was never able to realize his dream. This is why Guzzi and Parodi chose an eagle as a symbol to commemorate their companion. During this century, the brand will have won 14 world championship titles, 11 Tourist Trophy between 1935 and 1957, and 15 world speed titles with the V8 of Giulio Cesare Carcano, reaching up to 285 km/h in 1955. Without forgetting the feat realized in 1928 by Giuseppe Guzzi who reached the Arctic Circle on his GT “Norge”. It is therefore understandable that his name resonates all over the planet and that his brand equips many police forces, including the elite corps that escorts the president of the Italian republic. Despite this, going through this eventful period will not have been without obstacles, and the company with the eagle will have passed into the hands of several owners including De Tomaso Industries in 1972, Aprilia in 2000, and finally Piaggio in 2004 which now provides welcomed stability. To move forward, Moto Guzzi has always known how to combine its capacity for innovation, boldness, competitive spirit, as well as meticulous attention to production quality. Quality that gives its motorcycles a recognized reliability. Quality which gives its motorcycles a recognized reliability. Roberto Colaninno, Chairman and CEO of the Piaggio Group, said: “It has gone down in our country’s history without ever losing its youthful spirit and continues to inspire genuine passion among thousands of Guzzi bikers all over the world.” Besides, the faithful ones will tell you that “to try a Guzzi is to want to acquire it”.

The “Verte Rive” property has been preserved in a state very close to its origin. It is maintained with care, and a certain devotion, by the steward of the estate, Mr. Thierry Christinat, adjutant non-commissioned officer. It happened that our interview was very quickly immersed in a certain intimacy with this illustrious character who the Swiss were fans of. Even if the word was not yet integrated into our vocabulary, it conveys this feeling, tinged at the same time with respect and gratitude towards this man, rather small and steely-eyed. That underlined his determination.


From the start, every Moto Guzzi motorcycle has been built in the Mandello del Lario factory with artisanal care and a commitment to a unique and authentic identity, skillfully balancing classic Moto Guzzi style with avant-garde technology. As of 1921, the brand had been innovative with an overhead camshaft engine equipped with four valves, and nowadays it remains so with electronic controls.


We cannot speak of a Guzzi motorbike without mentioning the 1976 Guzzi 850 Le Mans which has become legendary. Giulio Cesare Carcano had developed his famous V-twin engine V7 which he integrated perpendicular to the road, with a cardan shaft transmission. The combination of an excellent engine with a rigorous chassis, developed by Tonti, made this bike a superb success. Its 90° V-shaped architecture will become the symbol of the Mandello brand, which will continue to evolve it to this day, to equip the V7 range, the V9 Roamer and Bobber, and the grand Tourer V85TT. Now all you have to do is get on your mount and take part in this pilgrimage that promises to be unique and eventful! You will find all the information about the big party, “Giornate Mondiale Moto Guzzi” on the site www. motoguzzi.ch

Despite this, it must be remembered that Henri Guisan was appointed “general” by the Federal Assembly only one month after his retirement as corps commander. Before reviewing his cars, let’s take a few moments to listen to Maurice Decoppet “When he was in his house in Pully, he had a horse ride two hours a day every day, until Saint-Sulpice, that is to say 16 km, except Sundays which were dedicated to family visits. Sometimes he would take his private car, a Vauxhall, for a ride with his wife”.

The General’s connection with cars is above all an official necessity. Throughout the conflict, he used only two cars for his official trips. His two horses, Nobs and Dioskur, halfbreeds of the country, were his favorite personal traveling companions. It should be noted that the General was never very far from his headquarters. Direct contact, if necessary, was therefore very rapid. For the record. The Confederation, in a surge of rare generosity, offered the General two years of fodder provision at the end of the conflict. We are definitely very far from current excesses.

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In order to move forward, Moto Guzzi has always been able to combine its capacity for innovation, audacity, a competitive spirit, as well as a meticulous attention to production quality.

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