The year 1975 was a difficult one for Meccanica Verghera (MV) Agusta, the aristocratic Italian motorcycle makers. In its 30-year existence, an astounding 37 world racing championships had been won by legends such as Mike Hailwood, Phil Read and Giacomo Agostini. That year, MV Racing had no titles to show. The company was in decline, following Count Domenico Agusta’s death four years earlier.
But passion for the breed was to give birth to another noble steed. Christopher Garville’s Commerce Overseas Corporation, the official U.S. importer, urged the factory to produce a model for his market, and worked with MV’s artisans to shape a masterpiece. With just 200 hand-built examples, the 1975 750S America is testament to a name that signifies pedigree in the two-wheeled universe. A contemporary review proclaimed, “Nothing about the MV Agusta America is understated. Strong, visceral and bold, the bike overwhelms everything around it.” (Click image to enlarge)
Garville’s own America, shown here, won the Editors’ Choice Award at the Robb Report MotorCycling Concours d’Elegance in Monterey. Shaft-driven, the MV’s 507 pounds are powered by a 789cc twin-cam in-line four producing, in the words of its owner, “a mushroom cloud of sound” through a quartet of megaphone pipes. With a sand-cast engine, matched gear sets, a cassette gearbox, and a single seat sliding back to accommodate two, the machine exudes exclusivity. (Click image to enlarge)
Its 1975 price of almost $8,000 (approximately $30,000, adjusted for inflation) put it firmly in the court of the elite. Auction prices today reach $50,000. Garville, who rides his example regularly, underscores the point, “The America is a bike built for a prince.”