S ince its launch in March 2022, Sotheby’s Sealed has counted several extraordinary Ferraris and Lamborghinis among its one-of-a-kind offerings. But what of that other great Italian name in racing?
As one of the final parts of their secretive bike-making process in Cambiago, near Milan, the legendary bicycle manufacturer and four-time Tour de France winner Colnago tests different paint schemes and color runs prior to launching a new model. These exceptionally rare artifacts of production are known as Prove Colori (“color prototypes” in Italian). Now, one of these incredible Prove Colori is heading to auction at Sotheby’s Sealed this 19-26 January.
The auction features a limited-edition Prove Colori Colnago C68, born from a collaboration between Colnago and Japanese designer Motoki Yoshio, one of the most appreciated designers of the cycling industry. “Rispetto” and “Armonia” were the project’s keywords: respect for the tradition and quality of the Colnago C series; harmony in highlighting the parts from which the bike’s frame is formed.
At the end of the creative process, two versions of the frame went into selection, where they were presented to the Colnago executive committee: a version with a glossy finish that was ultimately chosen for the production run, and this bike with its distinct matte finish. Now offered with no reserve – and accompanied by an original drawing, sketched and signed by Yoshio – this one-of-one bicycle is the only example in existence to have this unique finish. Fitted with Campagnolo’s top-of-range Super Record 12-speed groupset, Bora Ultra WTO wheels and Pirelli P ZERO Race tires, the C68 is expected to fetch in excess of $25,000.
This collaboration between Colnago and Sotheby’s signals the latest development in a growing category for the auction house, which first sold a Colnago Gioiello Numero 1 in 2023. For enthusiasts and collectors seeking unparalleled cycling excellence, these exclusive auctions promise an opportunity to acquire not just bicycles, but masterpieces of innovation and heritage.