Minichamps MIN122165100 1971-74 Moto Guzzi 850 T3 California Touring Motorcycle (1:12 Scale)
"German precision engineering at its finest!"
- The Motor Pool
The Moto Guzzi 850 T3 'California' was developed for the Los Angeles Police Department on the basis of the 850 T3 model. The advantages of the American comfort-riding style combined with the excellent engine and frame of the T3 made the 'California' an outstanding bike. By introducing a new camshaft and altering admission and exhaust system, the engine's power output and even the endurance were increased.
On top of that, the 'California' was equipped with Guzzi's patented integrated three-disc brake system. This brake delivered better performance and reliability than any other to date and was rightly deemed to be the best of its time. 59 hp @ 6900 rpm were the power figures of this touring bike classic that quickly found friends and buyers all over the world. This was further helped by the sumptuous number of accessories included such as the big windshield, the side bags, step plates and chrome bars.
Pictured here is a 1:12 scale diecast replica of a 1971-74 Moto Guzzi 850 T3 California motorcycle. Comes in a handsome presentation case. Sold Out!
Length: 7 inches
Height: 3.50 inches
Release Date: 2006
Historical Account: "CHIPS" - After experiencing financial difficulties in the late 1960s, De Tomaso Industries Inc. (D.T.I. Group or DTI), manufacturer of the De Tomaso sports and luxury cars, owned by Argentinian industrialist Alejandro de Tomaso, purchased SEIMM (and thereby Moto Guzzi) along with Benelli and Maserati in 1973. Under Tomaso's stewardship, Moto Guzzi returned to profitability, though other reports suggest a period of limited investment in Moto Guzzi followed attributed to DTI using Moto Guzzi financially prioritizing their automotive ventures.
In 1976 Guzzi released the 850 Le Mans, a cafe racer that was a stylistic masterpiece and still today considered one of the most iconic and sought after of all Guzzis. A marketing success that would compete with other Italian superbikes, it spawned four later models from Mark II to its culmination in the 1990s, the Mark V. The initial model is known widely but incorrectly as the Mark I. Technically, it is simply the 850 Le Mans. It was named in homage to the 24-Hour endurance race and circuit in France. The Mark I had two production runs with slight modifications.
The first run, known as Series 1, used the roundish CEV stop/taillight used on many Italian bikes of the decade. Less than 2,000 of the round taillight bikes were made and they are the most desirable Guzzi of the era. The second production run, known as the Series 2 and totaling around 4,000 bikes, used a De Tomaso-designed rectangular taillight/reflector and modified rear guard. This was also used on the Mark II and SP models. The taillight and guard was the biggest change between Series 1 and 2 but other modifications included later inclusion of a tripmeter, black fork lowers, a more generous dual seat that replaced the split-proned original seat, exhaust pipe heel guards and inferior fuel taps. The extra cost compared to the "cooking" T3 model paid for performance items such as high compression domed pistons, larger inlet and exhaust valves and Dell'Orto 36mm pumper carbs with filterless grey plastic velocity stacks. Most Mk I bikes were brilliant red although a very small number were painted in metallic ice blue. An exceedingly small number of Series 2 bikes were white.