Jack Silverman directed the restoration of the ex-Willi Scheidhauer 1955 Ducati 125 GP, with Evan Wilcox recreating the dustbin fairing working from period photos. Photo by Jose Gallina
The vintage motorcycle community lost a valuable friend with the passing of Jack Silverman, who died in August at age 77 after a two-year battle with encephalitis. A longtime resident of Aspen, Colorado, Jack had a long history with motorcycles even though he didn’t earn his racing license until 1996, when he was 56 years old!
Jack absorbed his family’s fascination with American Indian art and spent years reproducing serigraphs of early Indian carpets and tribal pots. His eye for design and excellence became an obsession as he researched and restored a series of 1950s Ducati Marianna 125 GP motorcycles. Jack frequently visited Italy, tenaciously tracking down rumors of derelict machines with great success, including resurrecting the Giuliano Maoggi #266 Ducati Marianna, winner of the 1956 Motogiro d’Italia. Maoggi enthusiastically autographed the gas tank for Jack when he saw his old steed looking like it did 50 years ago.
Jack’s projects to recreate the bygone era of classic motorcycle racing’s history of fully faired, small-displacement bikes were nothing if not ambitious, and one of the most satisfying aspects of his obsessions was to actually experience the joy and thrill of riding these bygone masterpieces. Viva Jack!