John Hancox - MV Agusta 500 Four
Motorcycle Racing G.P 500 MV Agusta 500 Quattro Motorbike Birthday Greetings Card by Artist John Hancox
The brainchild of Count Dominico Agusta, the 500 Quattro would become the leading motorcycle of its class during the 1950s and 1960s, being riden by greats such as Mike Hailwood, John Surtees, Gary Hocking and Giacomo Agostini.
MV's Quattro was first introduced in 1950 and despite early troubles, had a decent '52 season, before really coming of age in 1956 when rode by Surtees to the World Championship. Gilera, MV's main rival with the retirement of Norton the year previous took up the challenge and won the '57 championship before also retiring from GP racing. With this, the stage was set for a period of domination, an example being Hailwood's record of winning all but three of the races throughout the 1962, 63, 64 & 65 seasons.
Despite the motorcycle now being somewhat old it was still rode by Agostini to eight further world titles. MV Agusta's reign as the premier 500cc GP motorcycle would not end until 1975, an unprecedented run of seventeen successive world titles.