Moto Guzzi 75th Anniversary California

March 6th, 201043 Comments »

In 1996, Moto Guzzi introduced a special, single-year edition of the California to celebrate Moto Guzzi’s 75th anniversary in business which began in 1921.  Guzzi is the oldest European motorcycle manufacturer in business today.

Production of the 75th anniversary edition California was limited to just 750 units.  Let’s take a look back to re-examine this special Cali.

Motorcycle Cruiser magazine featured the bike in their October 1997 issue.  Obviously, MotoGuzziCalifornia.com is biased here, but two quotes from that article stood out.  One was “Guzzi obviously built the California for serious riders.”  The other was “After riding the California, it’s easy to understand the fierce loyalty of Moto Guzzi owners.”  Couldn’t agree more.

The Moto Guzzi California 75th Anniversary edition retailed for $11,390. USD, which was $400 more than the standard California that year.

For your extra $400, you got the special red and silver paint scheme.  The standard two-tone colors for the regular Guzzi California were navy blue with beige, red with black, red with red, and green with black.

Each 75th anniversary California was numbered, as limited editions of things often are.  The number was placed below the gauges on the large aluminum handle bar mounting clamp.  Just below “GUZZI” was labeled “Serie Anniversario xxx/750”, where “xxx” here represents the unique number of 001 thru 750.  On the side covers, the anniversary California also got a “75” just below the California logo.

The Kelly Blue Book retail value for a 1997 California i is about $4000 USD.  The anniversary edition of course should go for more, but is not listed.  NADA lists an average retail of about $2900.  Quite a difference.   Who knows how much a Guzzi enthusiast be willing to pay for a 75th anniversary California today in excellent condition.

It’s just a guess, but I’ll say about $400 more than a regular one.   However, when is the last time you saw one in person, or had a chance to buy one?

About John Clay

John Clay is the author of MotoGuzziCalifornia.Com. He and his family reside in North Carolina in the United States. A graduate of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course, he enjoys riding and maintaining his Moto Guzzi California Vintage. John participates in local charity rides and also served as a volunteer motorcycle marshal for one of the largest annual bicycle charity event in the Carolinas.

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43 Comments

  1. Giuseppe antonioli says:

    Ik had eerst een kawasaki 1000 police nu een moto guzzi het is even wennen maar nu is het een geweldige moter ik kocht hem van mij broer hij had hem nieuw gekocht er is maar 20000 km mee gereden mijn nummer is 246 /750

  2. Willy Timmer says:

    Hi just bought 237/750 Wonderful machine drives really relaxed very happy with him. The Netherlands / nijmegen

  3. mauro colacillo says:

    Hello!! My guzzi is the 48 !!!!!!
    I living in Roma and the Taverna Sacchetti is my restaurant
    I like see you!!!

  4. Hubert says:

    Hi there. Number 735/750 here in Poland. Owner since 2009, shipped from USA in two big boxes. Two years of buying parts and assembling! Since 5 years Guzzi is running just fine 🙂

    Greetings to all Anniversary 75 owners!

  5. Jim Kendall says:

    I live in San Jose California. I own #686 of 750. I purchased it from the original owner back in 2001 or so. It now has 27,407 miles on it. It has been parked on the center stand since 2003 (always inside or under a cover). It will need some general maintenance to get it going again. I also have a brand new, uninstalled tank for it (had problems with paint peeling around the gas cap on the previous two). Make me an offer at jim95138@yahoo.com. Pictures available upon request.

  6. Tom Gardin says:

    Hi All
    I am the original owner of #689. Its been sitting in my garage for the last five years, had some minor mechanical issues and I just never got around to fixing it. About a month ago I decided that if I’m not going to ride it I should sell it. So I started getting my hands dirty fixing the fuel system and replacing a lot of the weather beaten parts. Now that it’s starting to go back together and starting to look good again, I have had a change of heart and decided to keep it, it really is a good looking bike and was a lot of fun to ride. Hope to have it back on the road in a couple of weeks.

    Tom Gardin
    Texas City, TX

  7. momo says:

    bonjour j’ai fait l’aquisition d’un 75 aussi il a le n°573 et je suis en france region poitou charentes

  8. Chris says:

    No 423/750 is mine 😉 Northern Germany, Hannover region – and sometimes around Frankfurt aM (Germany)

  9. Roberto Cantoni says:

    Ciao a tutti!!
    io vivo in Italia regione Lombardia provincia di Sondrio e sono il proprietario della Moto Guzzi California 75° anniversario la numero 131/750 ed ha 40000 KM immatricolata il 1997 la moto è tutta originale tagliandata regolarmente!sembra una signarina!! :-))

  10. obi oliver says:

    just bought 508/750 in excellent cond, certainly a bike made to cruise, love the different look

  11. Maurizio Morassi says:

    Proud and happy to own and drive an especially good California 75 °
    n ° 71/750.
    Un big hello and a flash …
    Maurizio Morassi. Venzone Udine N / E Italy

  12. Michael Grace says:

    G,day

    i just brought number 536/750 from Albert in Malta, what a beautiful bike she is too. Most lovingly cared for with 15 000 miles travelled so far.

    I will take it back to Australia when I leave Malta to keep my 2010 Bellagio 940 company in the shed.

    I love the bike and she rides perfect, it’s different to ride than the bellagio, they are both great in their own way.

    Cheers from Malta (for now)

  13. Tom Jacobs says:

    Hello,

    I just bought nr 579/750 and i’m very happy with it!
    It’s got 54.000 km, and in very good condition.

    Greetz from Holland

  14. ANDRE Bernard says:

    Je suis proprietaire de la n°356 depuis octobre 2011 , j’habite dans le sud de la France ( exactement à coté de Montélimar dans le département de la Drôme ) a bientôt sur les routes ,V a tous.

  15. Tapani Kurttila says:

    Again here!
    I sold my Guzzi, anniversario 216/750,last summer. A little sad feeling. But now I finally got a new Guzzi Vintage 2011 !! It is white and so beautiful m-bike!
    Anniversario 216/750 is still in Finland. Its original owner bought Guzzi back.

  16. Ian O'Keefe says:

    I have number 460/750 and its got 7230 miles on the clock and i live in Selston Nottinghamshire, UK and im looking to sell mine

  17. Dave Gale says:

    Purchased my Anniversary model #736/750 brand new in 2000 in Los Angeles. Dealer was so keen to get rid of it as it had sat on his showroom floor for three years, he showed me the invoice he paid and offered it to me for the same price.

    Rode it all over California, and even to South Dakota, clocking up 40,000 miles in the process. A couple of fork seals and replacement rear shocks were the only major expense.

    In 2004 with 40,000 miles on the odometer, shipped it to my home in Auckland New Zealand, where it still resides.

  18. Mark Cunningham says:

    Hi, I purchased number 540 a couple of months ago, it is running fine with Tax & MOT It will be my running project for the next couple of years.

  19. Moika Erb says:

    I’m the owner of the Number 663/750 since spring 2011.
    I’m living in Buelach, Switzerland and the Bike is with 64000km still in good condition.
    I enjoyed every ride with this powerful machine and hope of some more km’s in the future.
    This has been my dream for many years to own such a Bike and now it has become true.
    Regards,
    Monika

  20. John says:

    René, thank you for finding the site! Your Guzzi Aniversario looks great. I felt it was an excellent example to show in the article and I hope you don’t mind. If you prefer a different photo, you can send it to me. Same for other owners too.
    Thanks,
    John

  21. René says:

    Hello,
    I was surprised to see My Guzzi Aniversario (The one on the Bottom).
    Love the bike.
    Greetz from Holland,
    René

  22. Massimo Desole says:

    Hy I am the owner of the Number 675\750 and I’m Living in Switzerland
    This wonderful motorcycle has changed my Life. I bought the Dream 2 Years ago with only 7000 km
    Today it has 21’000 km on his bag and I’m planning to drive it for Long Time. Will be in Mandello for the 90th anniversary …. See you there

  23. John says:

    Hi Martin (and all anniversary owners that have commented here). Thanks for finding my site, and especially for telling us about your Guzzi California Anniversary motorcycle! I think it is fantastic that we are collecting here an owner’s group for this very special Italian motorcycle. I’d like to encourage all California Anniversary owners that may be lurking out there to jump in and tell us about your bike, good or bad, original or modified, let’s hear from you!
    John

  24. martin says:

    I live near Dumfries s/w Scotland and have 457/750 it’s in good condition with 33,000 on the clock.( I need to get out more) bought locally in 2006, , nice comfy bike you can ride all day, love it,

  25. Albert Baldacchino says:

    I have just finished reconditioning to showroom condition 1997 California 1100i, 75th Anniversary No. 536/750, in Malta. Beautiful bike to own and ride. Purchased one year ago from the UK.

  26. Jim Kendall says:

    I live in San Jose California. I own #686 of 750. I purchased it from the original owner back in 2001 or so. It now has 27,407 miles on it. It has been parked on the center stand since 2003 (always inside or under a cover). It will need some general maintenance to get it going again. I also have a brand new, uninstalled tank for it (had problems with paint peeling around the gas cap on the previous two). Make me an offer at jim95138@yahoo.com.

  27. Ulli says:

    Hallo,

    my name is Ulli and I´m from Germany in the south from Munich. I ´m the proud owner from a Moto Guzzi 75 anniversario (273/750). I bought the machine in 2008 from the widow of the first owner.
    A very great bike and i never will sell such a motorbike.

    Manny greetings from Germany

    Ulli

  28. Conforti Giorgio says:

    Ciao a tutti,
    io vivo in Italia regione Liguria provincia di Imperia e sono il proprietario di una Moto Guzzi California 75° anniversario ed è la numero 164/750 ed ha 11000 KM immatricolata il 18/07/1997 la moto è come nuova ed è tutta originale.

  29. Barry says:

    I live near Chester, North West England i have just purchased number 463/750.
    This is my first cruiser, and so far so good.
    I bought this bike off a work colleague who has had it from new (1997) and i think is now regretting selling it.
    The bike is in excellent condition and has been well looked after.
    It has 21k on the clock and has made a trip to its birth place in Italy, and various European locations.

  30. Brian says:

    I have owned and also been riding number 445/750 since 2006, based in Somerset England. The bike goes well throughout the whole year on a variety of journeys. First registered in 1998 it seems to surprise (and catch out) other riders with it’s good handling and reasonable performance.
    A great bike for an enthusiastic rider.

  31. Gerrit Swartsenburg says:

    Na veel zoeken, hebben we nummer 245 van 750 gekocht met 14oookm op de teller. Kan niet meer op de zomer wachten!
    Zal veel rond Amsterdam te zien zijn.

    Go Guzzi/Gerrit

  32. Ronnie Presley says:

    I have #503 of 750 and live in Tuscaloosa Alabama.
    it has 24,000 Miles and looks & runs like new.
    I know Mike Banks and we ride together all the time and we also,
    have a butty who has a 97 model Guzzi beige & blue.
    I guest you could say we have a small 97 Guzzi club in Tuscaloosa,AL.
    GUZZI RUNS FOREVER!!!

  33. Mike Banks says:

    I have #750 of the 750 and live in Tuscaloosa Alabama.
    It has 23,000 miles and is in perfect condition.

  34. don shirer says:

    I have no. 507 in Jeannette Pa. it has 42000 miles and is running great, would never let it go for any price

  35. Ray Coughlin says:

    I own a 75th Anniversary. My first Guzzi. Bought it new and She has been a great bike.Mine is 697/750. I live in Western Massachusetts, USA.
    My other Guzzi is a 2007 Norge. Go Guzzi.

  36. Jon G says:

    Hi just to let you know number 540 is in Surrey sth England , she is in need of a little restoration but is all there and running fine , hope to find the money to do it myself if not then move it on to someone who will restore it to its former glory.

  37. Mark says:

    I go back to the states in Dec 2010 and will be buying a 75th anniversary 1997 Guzzi…I think he said the number was 734. 5000 miles. sweet.

  38. Sepp says:

    hello guzzisti

    Number 602/750 is in switzerland! (since 1997)

  39. Miasmic Gusto says:

    I bought a ’97 75th Anniversary Cali with Longhi sidecar attached in April 2010. At least, that’s what I was told it was-the original handlebar clamp with it’s serial number has been replaced with a standard Guzzi clamp, but it still has the “75th” badge on the front mudguard.

    Chassis No: KD15809, Engine No: KD15369 (maybe someone can tell me for sure whether it is a 75th model or not from those numbers? Thanks!). Whatever, it was first registered in Sep 1997 in the UK and is an ‘R’ reg.

    Oh-the colour scheme gives no clues either as it was resprayed black/red two years ago to match the sidecar’s paintjob!

  40. Dr. M. Guzzi says:

    I also have a 1997 75th Aniversary Califronia, original owner. It a great bike . Rode it yesterday with my wife on the back . It runs good. Got it set up for touring with large Guzzi saddle bags and rear trunk , also windsheild .

  41. Tapani Kurttila says:

    Hei Guzzi Enthusiast!

    I´m from Finland…I have Moto Guzzi, 1997, 75th anniversary California; serie anniversario 216/750.
    Pleaece, let Me know, where are those others “749-Guzzis are”?!? =)
    Nice summer all of !!

  42. Nicli renato says:

    Bonjour à vous, je posséde une de ces Guzzi 75 aniverssaire depuis 5 ans, lh’éritage de mon père,ily tennais comme à la prunelle de ces yeux.
    je doit l’avoué cette une moto magnifique pour roulé et faire des kms,seul ou à deux.
    jamais je me séparerais de cette moto,et j’ai déja eu beaucoup d’offre d’acheteur,maismême avec les sommes que l’ont ma proposé je ne la vendarsi jamais.

    A bientôt

  43. […] an earlier article, we looked back at the 75th anniversary edition Moto Guzzi California motorcycle.  An even  more exclusive limited edition California EV was produced for the 2002 […]