1961 Moto Parilla Wildcat

MAKEMoto Parilla

1961 Moto Parilla Wildcat

  • An exceedingly rare Limited Edition Enduro model 
  • Highly collectable 
  • Outstanding condition 
  • 250 ‘Hi-Cam’ motocross racer 
  • Road legal 
  • ‘Near 100% original’ 
  • Please scroll down the page to see the full bid history and to read a detailed description for this lot

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  • Exceedingly rare 
  • Limited edition Enduro model 
  • Highly collectable 
  • Outstanding condition 
  • 250 ‘Hi-Cam’ motocross racer 
  • Road legal 
  • ‘Near 100% original’ 

Serious collectors know the Italian Parilla is a cult bike. The Wildcat is probably the most scarce and sought after model. 

Moto Parilla was founded in 1946 in Milan by Giovanni Parrilla. As a young boy he was seriously mechanically minded. He moved from southern Italy to Milan and started in business working on diesel injection pumps and wholesaling Bosch sparkplugs. Legend has it, over lunch one day with friends, Giovanni began discussing the latest bike race results. He boldly stated that he could build a better bike than anything the Italian factories were putting out. His friends bet him he couldn’t and the challenge was accepted. 

Giovanni created a full-bore, 250cc overhead-cam racer that was so good it was quickly challenging Moto Guzzi. In the years to follow, the engine would become a twin overhead camshaft design and would shrink to 175cc, with power increasing to over 20 horsepower. In 1958, Giovanni travelled to America with factory rider Giuseppe Rottigne to race the 250cc Daytona Grand Prix. Unknown in America, the 175cc machine won the 250 Grand Prix by a country mile. 

With scrambles gaining popularity, the American distributor, Cosmopolitan Motors, requested a dirt bike (Scrambler) with a full 250cc engine. Parilla decided to use the same engine as on their all- conquering Grand Prix road racing machine. Parilla’s opposition in the 250 class was the Triumph Cub. Racing the Wildcat Scramblers against the smaller Cubs was like eating cake. As it did in the road race series, the Parilla trumped all comers on the dirt too. 

By the mid 1960s two-stroke engines were taking over. Bultacos, Greeves, Ossas, Husqvarnas and CZs would render the four-stroke outdated. After an all too short time in the spotlight Parilla company folded in 1967. 

Parilla’s are rare these days. This machine is an incredibly rare beast. The Wildcat was a USA-only product of the Moto Parilla factory made for the huge off-road and competition market there especially in the West & Mid-west states.  

Designed with off-road in mind it had an immensely strong full-loop frame, unlike the road bikes and was fitted with top class Ceriani GP 35mm front forks. Incredibly the damping could be adjusted from the saddle. It also had adjustable Ceriani rear shocks.  

Completing the high specification was a 7 litre fuel tank, a steering damper and a steel based, leather covered seat. The engine was, at the time, the most powerful 250cc single engine in production with 26 bhp. The Wildcat shared the same tune as the road-racing GS 250 model with high compression piston, single cam (50/80/80/50 timing) and a classic 28mm Dellorto SSI carburettor with remote SS2 float bowl. 

Most Wildcats were bought as pure off-roaders with no intention of conforming to any road legalities such as lighting, instruments or silencing.  

However a limited number were sold with an optional Enduro kit. This kit provided lighting with a headlamp and mounting ears at the front and a rear tail light and stop light switch. An extra coil fitted in the CEV 6055 magneto provided direct lighting and power for the stop light. This particular  machine is equipped with the very rare Enduro kit, lighting kit as well as an ultra rare optional tacho. 

This bike started life in the UK in a batch imported by the UK concessionaire and possibly sold via Comerfords in London. They took about 30 machines in a deal done when the factory was effectively in receivership… but no one outside the Parilla board knew this! This led to great difficulty in getting any spares for the Wildcats as they were unique models in the range, sharing no cycle parts and only major engine components such as crankcases and barrels with other 250 models. Hence several of those bikes were used as parts donors being stripped as required to keep customer bikes going on the road or to repair them after crashes.  

A number of Wildcats were scrambled by famous names such as world champion Dave Bickers so some damage was caused to the race bikes. 

This particular bike started out as “New Old Stock” i.e. new and crucially unused, engine, frame and swing arm unit which was bought from an enthusiast in Devon who had many years ago acquired several complete and incomplete Parilla models.  

Both engine and frame shared the same serial number so it was an obvious move to rebuild the bike to a high standard using the best original components available. 

It has been subject to a thorough restoration mechanically and cosmetically. Externally it is as near to 100% original as possible. 

Original fuel tank, forks, mudguards and other missing components were located or came from the vendors stock of NOS parts. Replica parts were NOT used other than the silencer to make it possible to use on the road. 

Internally the engine was checked over but being unused needed little work other than replacement of seals. 

Work carried out to date. 

  • All frame parts were powder coated gloss black.
  • All fork parts were powder coated wrinkle black as original
  • Fork stanchions hard chromed
  • OE fasteners and fittings were re-plated with dull zinc
  • All OE chrome work was re-plated to UK standards
  • Fuel tank was de-rusted internally and refinished to OE standards and pattern
  • New fuel taps were commissioned from the original manufacturers
  • The seat was repacked and recovered in Italy to ensure the exact stitching methods used were replicated. The seat comes in optional suede covering
  • The wheel rims were replaced with flangeless alloy units and rebuilt using stainless spokes
  • New tyres fitted

It has been fitted with a custom-made stainless steel “silenced” version of the original megaphone exhaust pipe to tame a few of the many decibels produced by what is basically a “full race” ‘60’s engine tune. 

Our View 

There are couple of things that make classic bikes (and cars) collectable and valuable. Rarity and condition.  

This Parilla has both. Very few Wildcats were made. Even fewer exist today. Parilla sadly closed in 1967. There is no possible chance of another being built. 

As you can see from the images, this one is in incredible condition. The attention to detail is outstanding. We’ll pick just one example. Original steel fuel tanks on classic vehicles are extremely rare. On a classic motorcycle like this that was built in such low numbers it is unheard of. Never mind finding a whole road going Parilla, try and find an original tank for one. 

Then add to that there is original leather retaining strap anchoring the rear of the tank to frame, well, that is a one-off. That is a theme throughout this classic motorcycle right down to the fasteners. 

Our research suggests these Wildcats do not come to open market. We found two in the last few years. One in the USA and one in Milan. The Wildcat in Milan had an estimate of 14,000 Euros. 

Our vendor has been tremendously realistic in pricing this collectable classic. He’s asked us to market this classic Parilla at a Guide Price of just £8,000 – £10,000. For a one-off collector’s item like this with a price that is only going one way, that looks amazing value.   


Vehicle Location: Somerset– it’s the responsibility of the winning bidder to make collection / transportation arrangements directly with the vendor

Have a question about this vehicle? Please contact the Evoke team at auction@evoke-classics.com and we will speak to the vendor on your behalf.

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Looking for a quote to transport the bike to it’s new home? Contact Keith at: The Bike Mover

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