The 200 motorcycles that will be sold on August 15th - 16th were previously part of a 350-strong collection housed in the Morbidelli Motorcycle Museum in Pesaro, Italy, which Giancarlo himself opened in 1999. Sadly, the museum was closed last summer, following a fruitless search for a new owner.
Of his father, Gianni said: “He spent day and night in the museum. He had no other life!
He was a genius with bikes. He did everything by himself, working in a very small room,” he added, referring to his father’s illustrious career.
The Morbidelli family will retain roughly half of the collection, including the world championship winning ‘giant killer’ 125cc and 250cc motorcycles, raced respectively by Paoli Pileri, Pierpaolo Bianchi and Lego Mario.
The remaining selection of 200 post-war road and racing motorcycles will make this the largest private collection of motorcycles to be offered by Bonhams’ to date. With offerings from Benelli and Ducati, as well as Morbidelli’s own machines, it represents the best of Italy, while also featuring fine foreign examples of the likes of Harley Davidson, Honda and Matchless. The majority of motorcycles will be offered for sale without a reserve.
Topping the lots is an elusive 1964 Ducati 125cc four-cylinder Grand Prix machine, created by Fabio Taglioni, the manufacturer’s chief designer and technical director (1954-1989). With an estimate of £400,000-£600,000, this incredibly rare machine famously disappeared for some years before its engine was found in Russia while its chassis reappeared in Yugoslavia, now Croatia. Giancarlo himself rebuilt the motorcycle, before it took pride of place in his collection.
Meanwhile, representing Benelli are a 1950 250cc Grand Prix racing motorcycle – the very world championship winning machine of Dario Ambrosini, estimated to sell for between £120,000 and £180,000, and a 1964 Benelli 250, ridden and signed by two-time world champion Tarquino Provini, with an estimate of £80,000-£120,000.