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Italian Motorcycle Classics Invade Madison Avenue

Antique Ducatis, MV Agustas and LaVerdas abound in Midtown

UPDATE: Exhibition is called "Art of the Italian Two Wheel" from the Stuart Parr Collection. The catalogue will be written by none other than Ian Falloon.

 I was walking to work this morning from Bryant Park east along 40th Street, when I caught sight of the unmistakable profile of an orange Ducati 750GT out of the corner of my eye inside a seemingly otherwise empty retail space along Madison Avenue.

Even as a pretty diehard classic Ducati fan and a member of a couple Ducati clubs, antique Italian motorcycles are one of the last things I've come to expect seeing in NYC, outside of the token display bike at high-end dealers, or a few at niche meetups.
 But crossing the street, I noticed twenty odd museum-quality Italian beauties being wheeled around inside the empty storefront, like this race-faired Laverda and a couple of incredible MV-Agustas in back, while a crew washed the windows (giving me hope that this wasn't just some sort of photo shoot).
This incredible 1985(ish) Ducati 750F1A is incredibly rare, modeled after the incredibly successful Ducati TT1 and TT2 race bikes, with the Mike Hailwood-esque paint job. Pictured behind is an 860GT and a Darmah (a bike which my brother-in-law proudly owns).
 There were actually two pristine 900ss Ducatis from the late 70's or early 80's one in black and another in silver. I think the two elevated Ducs in the picture above are slightly earlier manufactures of Ducati 750 Sports.
 This was a cherry red Ducati, a 750GT.  I investigated what was going on on the way home, and found out a bit more about the event.  All of these amazing bikes belong to a single collection, owned by an Italian motorcycle enthusiast named Stuart Parr.
 Another gorgeous 70's Ducati 750 Sport.  In an effort to showcase this retail space on Madison Avenue and 40th Street (and understandably share his amazing collection), Mr. Parr decided to lend his collection to create this installation.
 A veritable performance-piece, even walking through twenty degree blustery cold weather in the midst of corporate midtown at 8'oclock on a weekday, stopped pedestrians (including myself) in their tracks to admire the presentation of classic Italian engineering.
If what I was told was true, they'll be arranging select tours and possibly open houses in a week or two, and I sincerely hope I get a chance to admire this collection further up close, including this bike, which I think is an MV Agusta America (?).
Headlining this installation are five MV Agusta GP (some 750 Sports) bikes arranged in formation at the corner of 40th and Madison.  I think I also saw a MV Agusta Tourismo Rapido around the corner, similar to this bike, but I'm going to have to go back and look up close... 

© 2015 Tigh Loughhead


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