Guardian Angel: 1957 Mondial 250 GP Bialbero

Architect John Goldman’s painstakingly restored ex-Tarquinio Provini 1957 Mondial 250 GP race bike.

| September/October 2018

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    John Goldman’s 1957 Mondial 250GP Bialbero.
    Photo by Phil Aynsley
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    Behind the fairing lives the beating heart, a double overhead cam 250cc single with a bevel-gear-type head.
    Photo by Phil Aynsley
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    John Goldman’s 1957 Mondial 250GP Bialbero.
    Photo by Phil Aynsley
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    John Goldman’s 1957 Mondial 250GP Bialbero.
    Photo by Phil Aynsley
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    The deep cutouts in the tank aided the rider in tucking behind the fairing. And they look cool.
    Photo by Phil Aynsley
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    The hand-beaten aluminum fairing and seat fairing were finished and painted in California after the bike was restored in Italy.
    Photo by Phil Aynsley
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    The hand-beaten aluminum fairing and seat fairing were finished and painted in California after the bike was restored in Italy.
    Photo by Phil Aynsley
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    Tarquinio Provini and the Mondial 250 at the Coppa d'Oro race at Imola in April 1957.
    Photo by Phil Aynsley
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    John Goldman wheels the ex-Provini 250 GP through the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco, California.
    Photo by Phil Aynsley

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Two hipster skateboarders interrupt their "kick turns" with a "tail stop" as they sight something they've never seen before.

The setting is the crowded, semi-industrial neighborhood South of Market in San Francisco, California, a city that has had a reputation of "anything goes" since the end of World War II. In this area street-skaters are as welcome as collectors of vintage motorcycles, so it's not unusual to see both on the street at the same time.

However, today is different. The sight is a genuine Grand Prix winner being pushed across a pedestrian crossing. The skaters reverently place their boards under their arms and a meeting of two subcultures takes place.

Later, the man with the Grand Prix 250cc machine that won last year's Quail Motorcycle Gathering explains: "Of course they had never heard of the Mondial marque, but they were enthralled by its beauty and fascinated by its design. Skateboarders are typically interested in speed as well as industrial design as it applies to their boards. They tend to be non-conformist and enjoy taking risks, pretty much the same as motorcyclists! So, those guys 'got it' and it was a special meeting of two related subcultures who have an innate understanding of each other's motivations."



Man of Mondial

An architect specializing in designing award-winning houses of worship, John Goldman is the unlikely guardian angel of Mondial. Goldman is neither a typical motorcycle collector nor a typical architect. He probably knows more about Mondials than any other non-Italian person, and certainly has the most significant, if not the largest collection of this Italian marque anywhere in the world.

Goldman's designs for houses of worship have won awards as well as quadrupling church membership, clearly a case of "build it and they will come." His mission is to make religious buildings more relevant to today's busy and preoccupied society using the power of architecture.






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