Italian Motorcycles from the 1950s and 1960s
50cc Astor Super Sport 1969 /Itom (1948–73), Turin, Italy / Courtesy of Stewart Ingram
During the Second World War many of Italy’s motorcycle and automobile manufacturing facilities were destroyed by allied bombing. To aid in the post-war economic recovery of these industries, the Italian government revised a highway code which reduced the minimum driving age to fourteen. With this, motorcycle manufacturers could create a new class of vehicles aimed at the younger generation. What these bikes lacked in power, they easily made up in style.
In 2012, SFO curated a small collection of these motorcycles for an installation in their international terminal. Included in the display were pieces by Itom, Benelli and MV August – all of which are scarcely seen on the roadways of Europe let alone the U.S. Although these vehicles have long ceased production, their legacy lives on through their iconic design.
50cc Giulietta Super Sport 1959
125cc Competition SS 52 “Gobbetto” 1952
48cc Record Sport 1968
Images via SFO
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