Today it’s this gorgeous MV Agusta 750S that’s got us going.
Here’s all that you need to know about Lot 113.
1975 MV Agusta 750S America
Frame no. 221-009
Engine no. 221-012
One of the most sought-after street bikes of the postwar period
• Original owner was the MV’s then US importer
• Known provenance from day one
Developed from its long line of highly successful multi-cylinder racers, MV Agusta’s first road-going four – a twin-carburetor, 600cc tourer – appeared in 1965. But the public demanded something more exciting from many-times World Champions MV, and the Gallarate manufacturer duly obliged in 1969, upping capacity to 743cc and further boosting maximum power (to 69bhp) by fitting a quartet of Dell’Orto carburetors to the revised 750GT. Equipped with shaft rather than chain final drive, the 750 four arguably was more of a tourer than an out-and-out sports bike. Not that many people got to find out for themselves, for the MV was handmade in limited numbers and priced accordingly.
Also in the line-up was the more sporting 750S, a high-speed symphony in red, white and blue. Although no lightweight – it weighed nearly as much as a Kawasaki Z1 – the 750S gave little away in outright performance terms to such larger machinery, thanks, no doubt, to its engine’s Grand Prix heritage. Testing a 750S in 1975, Bike magazine found the motor very powerful. ‘Surprisingly it also has great reserves of torque, and pulls happily from four thousand. It’s probably the most powerful 750cc motor made; in a straight drag with a Z1 it lost only a few yards up to 100mph.’
The 750S continued in production after the GT’s demise in 1973. In the following year ‘MV was persuaded (by Chris Garville and Jim Cotherman of Commerce Overseas Corporation, then US importer of MVs) to invest in new equipment and create the 750 America’. Newly hired, ex-Ducati, designer Fredmano Spairani was ‘clearly convinced…that there was an untapped market for an expensive luxury motorcycle in the US, and had MV prepare for considerably increased production of the America’, The Book of the Classic MV Fours, Ian Falloon (Veloce, 2011).
The 750S America was introduced for 1975. Almost immediately Cycle magazine had an early example on the drag strip announcing, ‘13.06 seconds standing quarter-mile, 105.14mph terminal speed’. Not shabby! Bored out to 789cc, the America produced a claimed 75 horsepower, an output sufficient to propel the Italian sportster to 100mph in around 13 seconds and on to a top speed of 135mph. There was a major re-think for the styling. Gone was the swoopy, smooth-curved voluptuousness of the earlier years, replaced by a no less attractive but stronger, perhaps even Germanic, angularity matching the front fender shape with that of the tank, side panels and seat. Real suede was used for the seat cover, a direct ‘buy me now’ component if ever there was one. Otherwise, the model was familiar to MV enthusiasts.
Regrettably, things didn’t work out. Factory records are somewhat spotty but it is believed as many as 540 Americas had been made when production stopped in February 1979. ‘It was rumored 200 machines were sent to the US…and another 50 assembled from spares…(and) shipped to Cosmopolitan Motors in the US.’ A handful of left over Americas were converted at the factory into the 850SS.
This 1975 750S America was one of the earliest models imported into the US. The first of only two owners was the importer, The Garville Corporation, where it was used in displays, shows and for magazine tests. This was the bike featured in Cycle, Big Bike and Motor Cycle World to name a few. Ownership was transferred to Peter Garville (brother of importer Chris) in 1984 where it stayed in his possession until 1990. The seller, the second owner, acquired the bike by way of famed restorer Perry Bushong (one of the first MV Agusta dealers in the US). The seller had previously worked for Bushong and he was aware of the seller’s desire to one day own an America, and so when it became available his first call was to the seller who has owned it ever since. It was in 1994 that the seller met the late John Surtees at Daytona and he was gracious enough to autograph the fuel tank.
Restoration was undertaken by Perry Bushong starting in 2014 and was completed in November 2016. Sadly in the spring of 2017 both Perry Bushong and John Surtees passed away within one week of each other. This lovely bike was restored to its original, stock configuration with nothing removed or modified except for the exhaust which is a handsome, architype black four-into-four manufactured by Kay Engineering, and the air box, each carburetor now has its own intake.
With the motorcycle is a comprehensive history file, including a video of its restoration, three sets of mufflers, one set of headers, spare brake disc, tail light, air box assembly, rear shocks, RH/LH foot peg assemblies, front fender, side stand, oil filters, handlebar switch, and many miscellaneous small parts. Also, two factory tool kits, factory parts manual and a copy of factory workshop manual and a 1990 California license plate ‘750 MV.’