Moto Guzzi 1935 GT17 498cc 1 cyl EOI 3401



Moto Guzzi 1935 GT 17 “Project” 498cc EOI frame # 3714 engine # S 21287

Guzzis were first used successfully by the Italian Army in the late 1920s, prompting the introduction of a model specifically for military use in 1932. This was the GT17, based on the civilian GT16, the 498cc exhaust-over-inlet engine, three-speed gearbox and sprung frame of which it inherited. The robust GT 17 became very popular with the forces, especially during the war that was fought between Italy and Ethiopia from October 1935 to February 1937. It was built in single and two-seater versions and could be fitted with light or heavy machine guns. The rear suspension system consisted of a rigid swinging arm made of rods and steel plate which was connected to a box with compression springs under the engine. The electrical system worked without a battery, so the dynamo was a special type with a voltage regulator. The GT 17’s brakes were the same as those found on civilian models, 177mm in front and 200mm at the rear. The 88x82mm single had a modest compression ratio of 4.7 to 1, good for an output of 13.2 HP @4000rpm. By 1939 4,810 GT17s had been delivered in dark green or sand colour and a lightened and improved four-speed development, the GT20, was introduced but many GT17s remained into service till the end of the war.

According to Moto Guzzi factory information the GT 17 with frame # 3714 was produced on November, 27 1935 and delivered to the “Regio Esercito”, the Italian army, in Turin on December 11. The engine is slightly older, it belonged to a GT 17 that was manufactured on April 30, 1934 and delivered to the army in Bologna on May 23, 1934. After her military life this machine was civilianised and modernised with later type front forks, mudguards and foot change. She surely must have had a hard life, but she deserves to be brought back in healthy, rideable condition.