Not many people realise it, but all De Tomaso era four-stroke Benellis such as this 504 were built in the Moto Guzzi factory on Lake Como. They were even occasionally sold as MotoBis, and at least one Sei carried Moto Guzzi badges. The two-stroke 125s and 250s were built at the Benelli plant much further south, in Pesaro, regardless of whether they carried Benelli or Moto Guzzi branding. When the original Benelli 500 Quattro was launched in 1973 it raised many questions, the
Alejandro de Tomaso divides opinions like no-one else in the Italian motor industry, I wrote in Benzina 2, as part of a Benelli story. What I didn’t add was I’m a fan. Aged 13 I was persuaded to join a new Air Training Corps detached flight by friends who had RAF connections. So on one Thursday evening in 1972 I arrived at the Wyvern Centre on Devizes Green to have my head turned forever. Casually parked outside was a lime green De Tomaso Pantera. I knew this because it was w
Honda didn’t build the only sixes to race on the Isle of Man, and they didn’t have a monopoly on Joey Dunlop. In 1979 Joey raced a Benelli Sei at the TT, and he wasn’t the first.
In1975, seduced by the legend of Renzo Pasolini, a proven TT winner decided Benelli’s new six-cylinder 750 Sei should be his ride in both the Production and Classic races. As a production roadster the Sei escaped the FIM’s ban on sixes, but would have to race with the original six pipe exhaust