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Lot 466: Garelli Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle

Grand Palais Sale, Bonhams (7 February 2013)

At the end of 1981 Garelli strengthened its racing department by recruiting Jan Thiel, a Dutch engineer and two-stroke engine expert, who had already enjoyed Grand Prix success with Jamathi, Bultaco, Piovaticci and Minarelli. At the same time Garelli concluded an agreement with Minarelli for the supply of engines for its 125cc road range, and at the same time acquired the assets and staff of Minarelli's racing department, including its star rider, Angel Nieto. Thus, at a stroke, Garelli acquired a competitive machine and rider for the 125cc class, Nieto having won the 125cc World Championship for Minarelli in 1979 and 1981. For 1982 the aluminium monocoque chassis, designed by Eugenio Lazzarini for Garelli's 50cc racer, was adopted on the 125cc twin, replacing the old tubular steel trellis frame; the engine though, remained essentially as it had been during the Minarelli days. It would be an untroubled transition for Nieto, the Spaniard dominating proceedings as he had done in 1981, winning six races and finishing the season as World Champion with 111 points. Lazzarini came 2nd with two wins and 95 points. The machine offered here represents Garelli's 125cc twin-cylinder Grand Prix racer, as campaigned during 1983/84 by Nieto and Lazzarini, and like the '82 design features mechanical anti-dive on the front forks. Nieto was in dominant form again in 1983, winning six of the 12 races on the calendar and finishing as World Champion with 102 points. Lazzarini took one win, finishing 3rd in the Championship with 67 points. It was pretty much the same story in 1984, Nieto claiming six victories on his way to a 13th and final World Championship, though on this occasion Lazzarini finished 2nd. Old racing motorcycles are difficult to date with total accuracy, as few finish a season in exactly the same specification that they started it. This particular machine is a case in point; it carries a fairing with livery seen during the 1983 season yet has the NACA side ducts more commonly associated with the 1984 design; the front fork appears to be a Ceriani, which was fitted from 1985 (replacing Marzocchi); and the swinging arm carries a DID sticker, yet Garelli appears to have first used this make of chain in 1987! This actual machine is featured on page 148 of 'Agrati Garelli: 80 anni di storia' by Daniele Agrati and Roberto Patrignani. Unfortunately, is not known who rode it or what results were achieved.

Lot Details
Auction Grand Palais Sale
Bonhams, Paris, France
Lot Number466
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price€16000
Hammer Price (inc premium)€18400
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis numberAG-125GP-005 IT
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)125
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors