GD Ghirardi & Dall’Oglio Racers – With Phil Aynsley
A pair of closely related early Italian racing bikes
Brothers Mario and Gherardo Ghirardi, together with Guido Dall’Oglio established Fabbrica Italiana Motocicli (using the brand name GD) in Bologna in 1923 to produce bikes powered by a Dall’Oglio designed 122cc two-stroke single.
The bikes proved to be the best in their class and finished 1st and 2nd in the 1924 Italian Championship with riders Renato Sceti and Mario Cavedagni (who went on to found his own company, CM). In 1926 Dall’Oglio left to establish his own company, more on which later.
It was then that the original company name was changed from GD to GD Ghirardi. A 350 OHC single was briefly produced in 1928-9 but the company folded soon after, in 1931.
However it was resurrected in 1935 with new models before switching to armaments manufacture. After the war the company began to produce automatic packaging equipment and is a world leader in this field today.
This is a 1927 Corsa Alfa 2 with a 2 speed gearbox and a top speed of about 60kph.
One of Guido Dall’Oglio’s first creations after leaving GD was this 125cc racer, using a motor very similar to the one he designed for GD. It also used a 2 speed gearbox and had the same top speed of 60kph.