Paul d’Orleans and the Petersen Museum seem to like each other very much, as they’ve partnered on a third consecutive motorcycle exhibit! The new one is called Silver Shotgun, and it’s focused on “Italian Motorcycle Design of the 1960s and 1970s”. I just got back from the opening reception, and I figured you’d like to see some of my highlights!
Photos by Nathan May and yours truly.
The exhibit explores “the relationship between cutting edge italian motorcycle sof the late 1960s and 1970s, and Italian industrial design and fashion, when these industries seemed to explode with color, energy, and competitive vigor.” It’s supported by the Stuart Parr collection and was produced by the Motorcycle Arts Foundation and Sasha Tcherevkoff.
Considering the name of the exhibit is Silver Shotgun, it seems appropriate to start with the Ducati that lent its name. By the time Ducati had released the Mark 3 Desmo, they had an impressive variety of trim levels. In ’71, they added to the line up with their first ever motocross bike (the R/T), and a street bike with silver fiberglass bodywork. Two Wheels Magazine in Australia called the latter the “Silver Shotgun”, and the nickname stuck.
The man of the hour – Paul d’Orleans looks as stylish as ever at the opening of his newest exhibit. Paul’s work will be a mainstay at the Petersen, as he’s recently signed a five-year deal to continue his excellent guest curation!
This gorgeous Bimota SB2 was provided by Paul Murphy of Edmonton, Alberta. Just 70 were built between 1977 and 1978. Tim Huber featured one of these with modified bodywork about a year ago, and Paul himself left a comment saying that “the original SB2 is the horniest motorcycle in history.”
This was one of many motorcycles on display that had been provided by Stuart Parr.
It might just be my favorite bike in the whole collection, just because it was so new to me. Only 52 were ever built, and I doubt I’ll see another one in the flesh again. Look at that headlight guard!
Leading this six-pack of faired beauties is a genuine Ducati 750 that raced at the 1972 Imola 200. It’s one of seven that the factory built that year, and it might be the only one that’s kept the original finish. Paul Smart’s victory in that race led Ducati to create a production replica: the instant-classic “green frame” 750SS that has thoughtfully been parked right alongside.
As always, there were some great people in attendance – it was wonderful to see old friend and make some new ones. I complimented a gentleman on his classic Dainese jacket, and it turned out to be none other than Lance Holst!
Jeremy S. introduced himself as a Bike-urious reader, which I appreciated – my appreciation quickly turned to amazement when I found out that he is from Montreal, was in Phoenix for something unrelated, and rented a BMW GS to ride out to Los Angeles for this exhibit!
There is so much more to enjoy – but I have to leave some surprises for you to enjoy in person, right? If you won’t be able to make it out to Los Angeles while this exhibit is up for the next year, you can see some more photos from tonight in this album or check out Paul’s site for photos and details about each bike in Silver Shotgun.
Obviously, the best way to enjoy this exhibit is up close and personal, so if you can, go visit the Petersen!