The world of motorcycle racing has produced many exotic machines and few are more interesting and exciting than the Italian multis.
The names alone - Moto Guzzi, Gilera, MV Agusta - immediately conjure up images of the glorious days of World Championship racing in the 1950s and 1960s. The sights and sounds of these Latin racers provoke evocative memories.
This superb in-depth documentary from producer David Wood encapsulates the history and colourful stories of the Italian multis in the years between 1946 and 1976.
When the FIM instituted a world championship for 125, 250, 350, 500 solos and sidecars in 1949, the Italian factories were prime challengers. With competition intense and rivalry fierce, poaching of designers, mechanics and riders was not uncommon. The chance to reign victorious was of paramount importance.
Witness here the memorable championship years, with superstars Duke, Surtees, Agostini, Liberati, McIntyre, Masetti, Hailwood, Hockin, Ambrosini, Milani and other riders as their sleek, thoroughbred bikes howl around the great circuits of the world - the Nurburgring, Assen, Spa, Monza and the Isle of Man.
With nostalgic racing action, interviews and unique insights, the charge of the Italian 'Fire Engines' - so called because of their scarlet tanks - is a compelling tale.
As these fascinating stories unfold, relive the glorious sights and sounds of these 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and even 8-cylinder machines on the absolute limit with the Great Italian GP Racers.
“..every now and again the video market throws up a genuine classic - one to be treasured and watched again and again. Such an offering is the latest DVD issued by bikesport specialists Duke entitled Great Italian GP Racers...for those who lived through it, it is a magnificent reconstruction of what many still see as the true golden age of the sport - the 50s, 60s and early 70s. This was a time when the world’s first superbikes, exotic and complex multi-cylindered handbuilt machines from Italy, emerged to do titanic battle with the last competitive offerings from British factories and the embryonic challengers from the Orient.. Archive film and new interviews are superbly married together to give the modern viewer a marvellous overview of the Italian phenomenon. Revel in the sights and sounds of Guzzis, Gileras, Benellis and MVs battling first with Nortons and Ajays and later with Hondas and Yamahas. Thrill to the skills, not only of Italian-born stars like Agostini and Pasollini, but also of the ‘foreign legion’ of British and Antipodean riders recruited by the Italian factories as their machines eclipsed the best of British. Among others, Duke, Surtees and Read all give their first hand recollections of riding the Italian jobs, all illustrated by moving pictures to treasure - including several minutes of blood-stirring action on the original Nurburgring, andfilm of many stars of yesterday who are no longer with us. Add to this the reminiscences of the men who created the machines, the factory owners and engineers and you have a stunning package of sight and sound.. exceptional value for money... it’s a real must for enthusiasts of this era, old or new.” EVENING GAZETTE