1946 MV Agusta 98cc Velocita, MV’s first race bike.

You can buy nearly the entire history of the MV Agusta marque in one fell swoop. And these are some lovely pieces of Italian design and construction.

Mecum Auctions is offering what is certainly the single largest collection of MV Agustas the world has ever seen. All 71 bikes (yes, that’s seventy-one bikes) are essentially a historical document of the manufacturer’s work and date from 1946 to 2007.

The bike collection will be sold as a single lot at Mecum’s Monterey Auction August 16-18, 2012.

Collector Gary Kohs has put together this unprecedented and magnificent collection  and the lineup is fronted by a rare 98cc 1946 “Velocita” or Sport.

Based on MV’s first production motorcycle, the 1946 MV 98, the Sport was the first racing bike produced by Count Dominico Agusta and his brothers from their tiny factory in Cascina Costa, Italy.

Make no mistake, the sheer expanse of this collection is astonishing. You’ve got bikes from the memorable (a 750S America) to the obscure (a 1956 48cc Ciclomotore). You might expect that a collection this enormous and complete would be sold as individual lots. But the auction house thinks this collection will beat the odds and provide a huge draw.

“Gary Kohs spent so much time and effort – and passion – putting this together, it made sense to keep them together as a group,” said Sam Murtaugh of Mecum’s.

So who wants these bikes? Mecum’s says a ton of interest is originating from Italy.

“Some people think they need to come back ‘home.’ Maybe to the MV museum? I think they’re lobbying to get them,” Murtaugh said.

1975 MV Agusta 750S America will be sold as part of the collection.

If you’re in the area, you can see a large selection from this collection at the 4th Annual The Quail Motorcycle Gathering on May 5, 2012. It’s thought that 32 of Kohs’ collection of MVs should be on display there during the show.