Silver Shotgun: Italian Motorcycle Design of the 1960’s and 1970’s

By: Petersen Automotive Museum | Photos Courtesy of: Petersen Automotive Museum

On Thursday, January 16, 2020, the Petersen Automotive Museum officially debuted a new exhibit titled “Silver Shotgun: Italian Motorcycle Design of the 1960s and 1970s.” The display, named after the distinctive metal-flake paint used on certain Ducatis in 1971, presents 20 Italian motorcycles and two exceptional cars that exemplify styling changes in this era, concurrent changes in industrial design and complementary graphics and film.

Silver Shotgun Petersen Automotive Museum Display
1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero

Located in the Richard Varner Family Gallery, key motorcycles on display include a 1971 Ducati “Silver Shotgun” 350 Desmo, the only extant all-original 1972 Ducati 750 Imola racer, a 1972 Ducati 750GT, a 1975 Ducati 860GT designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, a 1974 Ducati 750SS, a 1976 Bimota SB1, a 1978 Bimota SB2, a 1974 Laverda SFC, a 1973 MV Agusta 750 Sport, a 1975 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport and a 1977 MV Augusta 750 America. The cars include a 1970 Lancia Stratos HF “Zero” and Michelotti-designed 1971 Fiat Shellette, plus 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 Petersen Automotive Museum Display
1971 Ducati Silver Shotgun 350 Desmo

“’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,” said 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.” 

“Silver Shotgun: Italian Motorcycle Design of the 1960s and 1970s” runs through February 2021. To learn more about the Petersen Automotive Museum, please visit

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