MV Agusta, originally Meccanica Verghera Agusta, was founded in1945 in Cascina Costa, Italy. The company began as an offshoot of the Agusta aviation company formed by Count Agusta in 1923. The acronym MV stands for Meccanica (mechanics) Verghera, the hamlet where the first MVs were made. In 1948, the company built a 125 cc two-stroke single and entered Franco Bertoni in the Italian Grand Prix. Bertoni won the event at Monza and instantly put the new manufacturer on the map. The 1952 season saw Britain's Cecil Sandford pilot the new MV 125 to a Isle of Man TT victory and went on to win MV Agusta's first world championship. In 1958 American rider Dave Schuler, riding a barely modified MV 175 Sport street bike, won the 175 class at the Catalina Island GP off-road race, in California. After the 1957 season, the Italian motorcycle manufacturers Gilera, Moto Guzzi and Mondial jointly agreed to withdraw from Grand Prix competition. Count Agusta originally agreed to withdraw, but then had second thoughts. MV Agusta went on to dominate Grand Prix racing, winning 17 consecutive 500 cc world championships.