Motorworld’s newspaper №75

Before and during the World War II, Moto Guzzi company had been producing a range of tricycles (mototriciclo in Italian) and three wheel trucks (motocarro in Italian) for the Italian Army. These machines were well received by the Army due to good maintainability and relatively low prices. They’re remarkable machines in the history of the Italian armed forces with their perpetual shortage of fuel and equipment.

Civil version of Moto Guzzi Mototriciclo 32. Only 163 pieces of Mototriciclo 32 were made for civil.

Mototriciclo 32 is the first three wheel machine, which has been used by the Italian Army during the WWII. Trike was set to work in 1935 when Italy occupied the East Africa. The military quickly appreciated it because of high manoeuvrability and reliability complete with good load-carrying ability. During the World War II the machine has been widely used in all battlefields. A total of 935 trikes (model 32) were produced for the Army.

Military Moto Guzzi Mototriciclo 32. Rare photo from the Costantino Frontalini collection.

Mototriciclo 32 was a three wheeled version of the Sport 15 model. It inherited design solutions typical for similar machines: a front spring suspension structurally connected to the rear subframe to which the two-wheel drive axle was attached. The trike was driven by a 500 cc engine (the same one that the parent model had) and equipped with a three-range transmission with an open chain. However, transmission ratio was reduced due to increased weight of the machine. It had a 500 kg load-carrying ability. A cargo bed was just an open box suitable for transportation of cargoes. There were army versions, which had a bed with a machine gun mount.

Moto Guzzi Mototriciclo 32

Mototriciclo 32 hosted by the “Motoworld of Vyacheslav Sheyanov” was restored at the Costantino Frontalini’s workshop. As for the paintwork, sand camouflage colour (so called blind colonial) was used. Besides, Mr. Frontalini has added a peculiar option – a field radio set. This accessory was developed by the Allocchio Bacchini company in 1930s for the Italian Army as a device for communication between a battlefield and the General Staff. It is of particular interest to note that some years before that the military used messenger pigeons.

Manufacturer Societa Antonima Moto Guzzi, Mandello del Lario, Italy
Years of manufacture 1933 – 1936
Quantity produced, units 1 078
Price N/A
Today’s value N/A
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
Type Single-cylinder, L-head
Engine capacity, cc 498,4
Bore and stroke, mm 88 x 82
Engine rating 13,2 hp at 4000 rpm
Sparking Magneto Marelli
Carburetor Amal
Battery 6 V
Clutch Multiple-plate, oil-bath
Transmission 3-speed
FRAME AND WHEELBASE
Frame type Tubular
Front suspension Parallelogram with friction damper
Rear suspension Leaf springs
Brakes Front – drum type, rear – band brake
Wheel size 19 x 3,50
DIMENSIONS
Length, mm
2 850
Width, mm
1 200
Height, mm
1 090
Wheelbase, mm
2 000*
Ground clearance, mm
   130
Seat height, mm
780*
Mass, kg
   338
Gas tank size, l
    18
Maximum speed, km/h
    53
Range, km
   272

* – Data on the results of the measurement at the exhibit of “Motorworld by V.Sheyanov”.