I’ve previously featured Paton’s later two-stroke GP bikes, but Giuseppe Pattoni is best known for his four-stroke 500 racers.
He was the chief mechanic for F.B. Mondial’s GP team, then with former company engineer Lino Tonti, went on to found their own company to produce race bikes. The first of which was a 125 cc single, then a 250 cc parallel-twin which eventually (and after Toni had left to join Bianchi) was ridden by Alberto Pagani to third at the IoM.
The English businessman Bob Hannah then stepped in to fund the team and the 350 (’65) and 500 (’66) twins that were developed from the 250. Fred Stevens finished sixth in the 1967 World Championship and fifth in the Senior TT on one 500 that started its life as one of the two 250s built (and thus had a wheelbase 100 mm shorter than the 500 seen here).
This bike is the ex-Billie Nelson machine that he finished fourth on in the 1969 championship and has a 1380 mm wheelbase. Later versions, from 1971, incorporated 4-valve heads which produced a further 5 hp compared to the 58 hp at 10,400 rpm (rear wheel) of the ’68 bike.
The 500cc Paton’s went on to finish in second place in the Italian Championship in ’71 (third in ’70 and ’72) with rider Roberto Gallina and with a Bimota frame took fourth in ’74 with Armando Toracca aboard. Virginio Ferrari rode for the team in ’75 and ’76 but the 4-stroke design was very outclassed by then and Pattoni and his son Roberto began to develop their new 2-stroke motor.
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.