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Lot 363: c.1958 Moto Morini 175cc Tresette Sprint

Collectors' Motorcycles, Bonhams (19 October 2008)

Before the arrival of its family of 72-degree v-twin roadsters in 1973, Moriniís reputation had rested mainly on its highly successful double-overhead-cam single-cylinder racers that came within a whisker of snatching the 1963 250cc World Championship from mighty Honda. Founded in 1937, Alfonso Moriniís company built two-stroke lightweights at first before developing a range of fast four-stroke roadsters during the 1950s, the first of which appeared at the Milan Show in November 1952. Morini chose to pitch its newcomer into the hotly contested 175cc market sector, machines of this capacity being immensely popular in Continental Europe at this time. The Morini 175 Turismo was powered by an overhead-valve engine built in unit with a four-speed gearbox, which went into a state-of-the-art set of cycle parts consisting of a swinging arm frame and telescopic front forks. Morini being an Italian manufacturer with a passion for racing, it was not long before a sports version arrived in the form of the GT (Gran Turismo) which would be the first of many high-performance variants.

Introduced for the 1954 model year at the same time as the GT, one of the most famous of the latter was the Settebello (Seven of Diamonds) that commenced a run of models named after card games popular in Italy. Although intended for production-class racing, the Settebello was sold with full road equipment and could be distinguished from Moriniís other 175s by its larger cylinder head containing hairpin valve springs (all the rest used coils). Following the budget-priced Biscola (trumps) the last of the card game-themed 175s was the Tresette (Three Sevens) which was newly introduced for 1958 together with the sporting Tresette Sprint. Distinguishable from the Ďcookingí Tresette by its camshaft-mounted ignition points, the Sprint incorporated a high-compression piston and 22.5mm Dell-Orto carburettor and produced 13bhp at 6,500rpm, an output good enough for a top speed of 73mph.

Offered for sale from an important private collection in the USA, this Moto Morini Tresette Sprint was purchased at an autojumble in Regio Emilia, Italy and ridden in the Moto Giro díItalia three years ago. Subsequently rebuilt by the eventís accredited restorer at a cost of Ä5,000 (approximately £4,000) it is presented in perfect condition, ready for participation in next yearís Giro.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motorcycles
Bonhams, Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show, Stafford
Lot Number363
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis numberTS 42418
Engine number1R 30533
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors