The catalog for Mecum's MV Agusta Collection (descriptions are in Italian and English) would make a fine addition to any motorcyclist's library.
MV Agusta. It’s a name deeply rooted in motorcycling history, conjuring up epic visions of fire-engine-red motorcycles hurtling down European race tracks as brilliant riders like Surtees, Hailwood and Agostini bravely pushed them to the limits of their capacity. MVs have inspired racers and collectors alike, including enthusiast Gary Kohs, who put together a collection of 71 of the most significant and magnificant MVs ever made. Kohs has decided to sell his MVs, and on Aug. 16-18, 2012, at Mecum’s Monterey Auction, you could buy them all. At once.
The Kohs collection is nothing short of staggering. Seventy-one of the most brilliant, beautiful motorcycle ever made. This is much more than simply a collection. Rather, it’s a conscious selection of motorcycles chosen help tell the story of one company -- MV Agusta -- and the development of motorcycling in Europe from the dark days following World War II to the present. As unique as the collection is, it’s only fitting its auction catalog would also be unique, a 164-page history of MV, finely bound and sheathed in a four-color hard case. The catalog, which is in Italian and English, is almost a museum piece itself, and will, undoubtedly, go on to become a collectible in its own right.
Page from the Mecum MV Agusta Collection catalog featuring an extremely rare 250 Scrambler, one of just 52 built.
Selling the collection as one block is unique, and potentially risky. We’ll assume Kohs and Mecum will put a healthy reserve on the assembled bikes, but surely they’d fetch more split into individual lots? Be that as it may, Kohs has made it clear he doesn’t want the collection disbursed. His time as steward of this selection of MV history has come to a close, but he doesn’t want that to signal the end of the collection and the story it tells. To that end, he’s willing to take the risk that some other collector – perhaps MV Agusta in Italy? – will step forward to assume stewardship of the entire collection, keeping it together to be shown for years to come.
You can find out more about the collection on Mecum’s site by going here. We’ll look forward to presenting a full report of the results following the August Mecum Monterey Auction.