As the Japanese manufacturers established new mass production standards and the British continued to slide into oblivion, the Italians continued to produce motorcycles that emphasized function over form. Racing was endemic to the Italian culture, and the finest Italian motorcycles of this era evolved from a racing heritage.
Stuart Parr’s collection centers on some of the most significant classic Italian motorcycles of the 1970s. These bikes mark the end of the day before the accountants and bureaucrats changed motorcycling forever. The complicated engines were an important visual component, the exhausts emitted a bellow that broke a decibel meter, carburetors breathed through open bell mouths, lighting was minimal, and turn signals considered an aesthetic abomination. Until the DOT mandated a left-side gearshift at the end of 1974, British and Italian motorcycles traditionally shifted on the right.
The bikes on display here represent this era. These were hand-built by artisans, and extremely labor-intensive to build. As a result they were produced in very small numbers by modern standards. Paint and chrome finish was secondary to function and as production runs were so small generally no two were alike. The beauty in these motorcycles is in the myriad of details, wonderful aluminum castings and bespoke design.
Stuart Parr is an internationally renowned designer, artist manager, film producer and inventor of Parrluxe SeaCabana. His architectural designs Clearhouse in Shelter Island and Marble House in New York City’s TriBeCa neighborhood, have been featured in major international publications. He is the trademark owner and an expert on 1930s’ design icons, Jean-Michel Frank and Warren MacArthur, whose works he curated in major furniture exhibitions in both Europe and the USA. In addition, Stuart Parr co-manages Eminem’s film career and has handled all of Eminem’s licensing since the beginning of his career. Stuart Parr’s film credits include producer of “8 Mile” and 50 Cent’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin”. His new film about Nina Simone, starring Zoe Saldana (Avatar) and David Oyelowo (Selma) was released in 2015.
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