Thursday, 28 October 2010

Guzzi Green

This is the wonderful Guzzi V8 featured in Benzina #2, and mentioned in a current bike mag (unless I misunderstood) as being painted the house-green filigreed of Guzzi fifties racers; hmmm, filigreed means fine work in precious metal wire, usually for jewellery - I think they mean verdigris, the green-grey of corroded copper...

The choice of this colour wasn't chance or whim - it's an anti-corrosion treatment for the super-lightweight mag-alloy fairings the race bikes wore; designer Carcano was so obsessed with weight saving he wouldn't countenance merely painting any race bike.

This much you might know - but the next bit I didn't, until very recently. When Guzzi launched the V7 Sport the green tank colour (that lives on in the current model) was chosen to mimic the old racers, but this being the 1970s a splash of metalflake was added. So as with the orange chosen by Laverda (see blog passim) and the blue/green of the early Ducati 750SS, the colours were chosen for good reasons. What, you don't know why Ducati used that blue/green? More later...

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