• Rare Magni-converted MV Agusta
• Modified in the 1980s and in 2008
• Registered in Switzerland
Motorcycle race engineers are rarely household names but one exception to this general rule is the legendary Arturo Magni. Born in Usmate Velate, Milan in 1925, Magni started his motorcycle career in 1947 in Gilera's racing department. The Arcore factory had decided to return to Grand Prix racing, and Arturo Magni was employed assembling the new four-cylinder engine designed by Piero Remor, co-creator of the pre-war OPRA and CNA Rondine fours. Gilera would go on to win six 500cc World Championships with this engine, courtesy of Messrs Duke, Masetti and Liberati.
In 1949 Count Domenico Agusta tempted Remor away from Gilera to design MV Agusta's first four-cylinder race engine. Magni followed him in 1950 as chief mechanic and later managed the racing department during MV's Grand Prix 'golden age'. At the height of its powers the Italian team could command the services of the world's finest riders, among them Sandford, Ubbiali, Surtees, Provini, Hailwood, Read and Agostini, and under Magni's direction MV won no fewer than 75 World Championships.
When MV retired from Grand Prix racing in 1976, Magni and his two sons set up their own company in Samarate, producing performance parts for the MV Agusta 750 street bikes, including big-bore kits, special frames and chain-drive conversions. Magni commenced production of motorcycles under his own name in 1980, initially using the Honda CB900 engine, with BMW, Moto Guzzi and Suzuki-engined models following. In the mid-1980s Magni commenced what would turn out to be an immensely fruitful association with Moto Guzzi, using the latter's well established transverse v-twin engines.
Yet despite all his latter day successes with Moto Guzzi, Arturo Magni's name will forever be linked with that of MV Agusta, whose reputation this great engineer did so much to forge. The first MV model officially to bear his name was the 'Monza Arturo Magni', a stretched (to 832cc) version of the 750S America. Official production of the Magni, together with that of all MV Agusta's other models, ended in February 1979, although Arturo and his sons Carlo and Giovanni continued to create bespoke MVs to special order.
First registered in Germany in April 1978, this MV Agusta America was imported from Germany into Switzerland in 1985, and since then has had only two owners. In the early 1980s the machine was sent to the Magni workshop for its initial modification, being upgraded with a Magni chrome-molybdenum frame, bored out cylinder block (its present capacity is not known), and a Magni exhaust system.
In 2008 the machine returned to Magni and was further upgraded with a chain drive conversion kit, Magni magnesium wheels, and a race fairing with the 'Magni' logo incorporated into the paintwork. This Magni-converted MV has participated in numerous classic events including the Retro-Moto de Saint Cergue at Vaud, Switzerland (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015); the Coupes Moto Légende at Dijon, France (2010); and the Sunday Ride Classique at Le Castellet, France (2009, 2013, 2015, 2016). The machine is offered with a Swiss Carte Grise, while the following original parts are included in the sale: a set of aluminium wheels, Magni chain cover, transmission case and parts, light mounts, front mudguard, brake lines, rear sprocket, and a pair of silencers.