In 1931, Moto Guzzi introduced the successor to its legendary Norge G.T. 500—the GT16. Similar to the Norge, the model featured a horizontally oriented single with a 498cc displacement. However, Guzzi engineers derived engine and chassis advancement from the firm’s aptly named Sport 15. That package included a sprung frame perfected by Carlo and Giuseppe Guzzi along with an exposed flywheel, valve springs, and pushrods (Guzzi hallmarks of the time).
Despite that blend of fresh and familiar, the Mandello Del Lario factory only produced 754 GT16 examples between 1931 and 1934. That short-lived production run only makes the model that much more coveted today, especially in the United States. Those factors only contributed to one pristine 1934 Moto Guzzi GT16 commanding $27,250 in a Bring a Trailer online auction on April 19, 2023.
The sold unit bears the frame number 1828 and the engine number 21312. Restored in 2013-2014, the GT16 made its way to California in 2015. The unit has remained a shining example of a Pre-war era Moto Guzzi ever since, showcased in the Moto Guzzi 500 display at the 2015 Quail Motorsports Gathering and winning the Chad McQueen Award at the 2016 Friends of Steve McQueen Car and Motorcycle Show. As a coveted collector’s item, the GT16 hasn’t been titled or registered in the U.S. As a result, it was sold with its Moto Guzzi Certificate of Origin and Italian Libretto.
Just one look at the fetching Goose and it's easy to see why it fetched $27,250. From the two-tone Amaranth and chrome livery to the baloney-slicer flywheel, from the low-mounted, Guzzi-stamped, chrome exhaust to the wind-blocking leg shields, the GT16 is both pretty and practical. Of course, the double-sprung Aquila Continentale solo leather saddle and girder fork only add to the vintage charm.
The restorers left no stone, or wheel, unturned either, with the chrome rims featuring black-painted centers and Amaranth pinstriping. The GT16 sends those wheels spinning with a tank-mounted hand shifter (right side), a three-speed transmission, and a final drive chain. Shelling out $27,250 may seem like a lot of money for a 13.2-horsepower motorcycle, but when it’s such a pivotal part of Moto Guzzi’s rich history, that price also seems like a steal.