13th Mar, 2010 14:15

Stoneleigh Park

  Lot 21

1975 Benelli Sei

Sold for £5,850

(including buyers premium)

Lot details
Registration No: Un-Reg
Frame No: BC7622
Engine No: B6009602
cc: 750

The late 1960's was a period of upheaval for the Italian motorcycle industry. As the society became increasingly affluent the home market for the lightweight machines, which had sustained many of the countries motorcycle manufacturers decreased with buyers now aspiring to a car such as the Fiat 500. In export markets, particularly the United States, Italian machines had to compete against established British manufacturers with well organised sales and service organisations and the increasingly popular, technically advanced and reliable Japanese products. Benelli was better placed than many of its rivals as the sixties came to a close. A range of mini bikes and the Tornado 650 twin gave the company a presence in the States and new designs were in development, however it needed help to survive which arrived in the form of Argentinian entrepreneur Alejandro de Tomaso when he acquired the ailing company in 1971. He pushed through the development of the new 125 and 250cc two stroke twins and instigated the development of a range of multi cylinder four stroke machines which were intended to compete directly with their Japanese rivals. The revised range was to be headed by the worlds first production six cylinder machine. The 750 Sei, announced during 1972, featured an across the frame single overhead cam air cooled engine coupled to a five speed gearbox housed in a conventional tubular cradle frame. The models styling was conventional, except for the three stacked silencers on each side, which together with delays in availability, examples not becoming available until 1974 are cited as being the reason for the models limited impact in terms of sales. Equally the machine was expensive in all markets and offered performance that was on a par with many cheaper, better established rivals, where it did succeed was in bringing Benelli back into the limelight in much the same way that the CBX re-established Honda's claim to technical innovation later in the decade.
Today the Sei is rightfully regarded as ground breaking motorcycle. The silver example offered has spent much of its life housed in private collection and is offered in excellent condition with Spanish documentation.

Auction: Stoneleigh Park, 13th Mar, 2010

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