Silver Shotgun: ’60s and ’70s Italian motorcycles sparkle in new Petersen exhibit

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The Petersen Museum is best known for curated automotive exhibits, but occasionally the vehicles on display are of the two-wheeled variety. The most recent feature is titled “Silver Shotgun” and has a hyper-narrow focus on Italian motorcycles of the 1960s and ’70s.

The display is named after the distinct metal-flake paint used on Ducati models in 1971, but spans a larger range using 20 motorcycles to exemplify the era. Ducati is easily—and rightfully—the largest represented brand of the group, but other featured models include Laverda, MV Agusta, and Moto Guzzi. In addition to the motorcycles, a Lancia Stratos and Fiat Shellette will be on display.

“Silver Shotgun explores the relationship between progressive Italian motorcycle design and industrial design, during an era when both industries were concurrently exploding with color, energy, and vigor,” says Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “When guests walk through the rows of bikes, they will get a sense of the cultural revolutions that were taking place during the 1960s and ’70s that in turn inspired freedom of design across multiple industries.”

The motorcycles range from production models to ex-factory race machines, and many would consider this grouping to be some of the best-looking Italians this side of Massimo Tamburini’s Ducati 916. If you would like to take in the beauty in person, and we recommend you do, the exhibit will be on display through February 2021.

side-view
1972 Ducati 750 Imola racer

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