Lot 385 - 1977 Montesa Cota 348 Rathmell Replica
|Estimate||£4,250 - £5,250|
Montesa was formed in 1944 by Pedro Permanyer and Francisco Xavier "Paco" Bultó. As Chief Engineer, Bultó was responsible for the design and development of their road going 125cc two-stroke single which, from its debut in 1950, was adapted to take part in the 1951 International Six Days Trial and also formed the basis of a successful road racing machine. These bikes featured six-speed, bolt on gearboxes, in semi-unit construction, with all gears running on needle-roller bearings. By 1956, the Montesa 125s were very competitive and took second, third and fourth places in the Ultra-Lightweight race at the Isle of Man TT.
Following a disagreement over the company's commitment racing, in 1958 Bultó left and took several key personnel with him to form his own Bultaco Company. Permanyer promoted motorcycle racer Pedro Pi from Head Test Rider to Chief Development Engineer and work began right away on designing a brand new all-unit-construction 175cc engine that by 1960, would power the latest Impala sports roadster model. This engine would form the basis of the company's future trials and motocross machines. To promote sales of this model, three Impala's were taken to Africa where they covered over 12,000 miles of terrain, most of it being off-road. Back at home, Pi was busy winning the Spanish motocross and road race championships in addition to working on a new 250cc version.
Following its introduction in 1965, the 250 engine would be the cornerstone of the company's future success. Mounted on the new 250 Scorpion scrambler, Pi won the Spanish championship again in 1966 and the similarly engine, Sport roadster won the Barcelona 24-hour endurance road race. In 1967, the first Montesa trials models appeared and in 1968, on the newly named Cota, Pi won the Spanish Trials Championship.
Over the following decade Montesa trials and motocross bikes were offered over a wide range of capacities and the make achieved many successes, most notably Don Smith's European Trials Championship win in 1969. In 1975, reigning Champion Malcolm Rathmell joined Montesa to develop their new 306cc version of the established Cota. Rathmell achieved second place in that year's Championship and 1976 saw the release of the famous Cota 348 Rathmell Replica, on which he finished third in the Championship and was runner-up again in 1977.
The Rathmell Replica offered here is a genuine, matching numbers example, which according to the vendor was supplied new to the UK by importer, Sandifords. It has been completely restored and has been in a private collection for the last three years. An item for the serious off-road bike collector.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.