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Petersen Automotive Museum Presents Italian Design Exhibit from the 1960s and 1970s

Published on Tue, Jan 21, 2020

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

The new exhibit is titled “Silver Shotgun: Italian Motorcycle Design of the 1960s and 1970s” and features cars, bikes, and art.

Italian design turned the automotive world upside down in the ‘60s and ‘70s, revolutionizing the way cars and motorcycles can look. Wedges and sharp lines started to make an appearance and began to replace the calm, cuddly commuter cars of previous generations. Motorcycles began to look like flying bullets slicing through the air. Since opening ‘Silver Shotgun’ on January 16, 2020, the Petersen Automotive Museum has once again put together a fantastic collection from this time period.

1972 Ducati 750 Imola Racer
1972 Ducati 750 Imola Racer

Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges says, “’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. 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 ‘Silver Shotgun’ exhibit name comes from a distinctive metal-flake paint that Ducati used on certain models in 1971. 20 Italian motorcycles and two fantastic cars exemplify the nature of Italian design during a time period featuring a seismic cultural shift.

1971 Ducati Silver Shotgun 350 Desmo
1971 Ducati Silver Shotgun 350 Desmo

Some of the key pieces of the exhibit include:

  • 1971 Ducati “Silver Shotgun” 350 Desmo
  • The only all-original 1971 Ducati 750 Imola racer
  • 1972 Ducati 750GT
  • 1975 Ducati 860GT designed by Giorgetto Guigiaro
  • 1974 Ducati 750SS
  • 1976 Bimota SB1
  • 1978 Bimota SB2
  • 1947 Laverda SFC
  • 1973 MV Agusta 750 Sports
  • 1975 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport
  • 1977 MV Augusta 750 America
  • 1970 Lancia Stratos HF “Zero” (article title photo)
  • 1971 Fiat Shellette designed by Michelotti
  • A monumental sculpture by Luigi Colani

The exhibit was guest curated by Motorcycle Arts Foundation (MAF) co-founder Paul d’Orleans, produced by MAF and Sasha Tcherevkoff, and supported by the Stuart Parr Collection. “Silver Shotgun: Italian Motorcycle Design of the 1960s and 1970s” runs through February 2021. For more information about the exhibit or the Petersen Automotive Museum, please visit

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