2022 Shannons Winter Timed Online Auction
Lot
67

1965 Benelli 250cc Barracuda Motorcycle

PASSED IN

Melbourne

Passed In

Specifications

Engine 250cc single
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Colour Black/cream
Trim Brown
Wheels Wire
Brakes Drum/drum

Description

The Benelli Garage was originally established by widow Teresa Benelli in Pesaro, Italy in 1911 with the hope that it would provide her six sons with employment, beginning with repair work. By 1920 the Benelli brothers produced their first engine, a single-cylinder two-stroke, and the following year installed it in a motorcycle of their own manufacture. Benelli had won four Italian Championships by the beginning of the Second World War and continued to do well in competition through the ‘50s and ‘60s. In an effort to boost sales in the lucrative American market, Benelli entered an arrangement with the now defunct Montgomery Wards department store in Chicago, Illinois (USA) in 1959, to sell motorcycles via a mail order catalogue. Sold in CKD form, the Benellis were rebranded as Montgomery Ward Riversides and sold alongside similarly rebadged Lambretta and Mitsubishi scooters. Indeed, many Americans got their first taste of motorcycle riding on one of these high quality machines which enjoyed a reputation for reliability and lively performance. The Benelli 250 Barracuda was produced between 1965 and 1970. It was powered by an air-cooled, 245cc four-stroke, single cylinder, OHV engine mated to a five-speed transmission, producing a claimed 17.9 kW at 8200 rpm. Typical of its time, the Barracuda came with a telescopic front fork, dual adjustable shocks in the rear, drum brakes and spoke wire wheels, a single chromed exhaust system, a dual seat and an analogue instrument cluster. Following Alessandro de Tomaso's takeover of Benelli in 1971, a new range of two-strokes was unveiled but the company fell on hard times and disappeared from sight for several years. Fortunately, the famous Italian marque has been revived and produces high quality superbikes today.

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