1974 Ducati 750SS Imola replica,
Lot 465
1974 Ducati 926cc '750SS Replica' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. DM750 1978 Engine no. 75542
£20,000 - 26,000
US$ 34,000 - 44,000
Lot Details
1974 Ducati 926cc '750SS Replica' Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. DM750 1978
Engine no. 75542
It was, without question, Paul Smart's famous victory at Imola in April 1972 that really put Ducati's new v-twin on the map. It was a particularly sweet occasion for hitherto unfancied Ducati, as the Bologna factory defeated not only the race-proven Triumph Tridents of Percy Tait, John Cooper and Ray Pickrell, but also the works 750 MV Agusta of Giacomo Agostini. With such an outstanding pedigree, the 750SS was a natural choice for racing's Superbike category, and later on proved highly competitive in 'Battle of the Twins' (BOTT) racing in the USA and Europe.

Smart's bike was based on the 750GT roadster introduced that same year. The racer's cycle parts remained close to stock - even the centre stand lugs were retained! - merely being up-rated with triple Lockheed disc brakes while the engine gained desmodromic cylinder heads, high-compression pistons and stronger con-rods. When the definitive production version - the 750SS - appeared in 1974 it differed little in overall conception from the Imola '72 bikes, among the most obvious external differences being the adoption of a centre-axle fork and Brembo front brakes. The big 'Imola' fuel tank and humped racing seat both featured on the road bike, which wore a cockpit faring rather than the racer's fuller streamlining. Only 401 examples of the original 'round case' version were built before being superseded by the less desirable 'square case' model for 1975, and today the landmark '74 750SS is one of the most sought-after of all Ducatis.

As is so often the case with rare and exotic vehicles, particularly those intended for racing, the scarcity of genuine survivors has led to the creation of replicas, such as that offered here, which uses the correct 'round case' type of engine. The machine was purchased from Max Wakefield in South Africa and ridden by the current vendor to 1st place at that year's Springbok series historic race meeting, the last occasion on which it was used. Brought to the UK in March 2008 and kept in dry storage since its arrival, the Ducati benefits from an engine rebuild carried out by I E S Engineering of Witham, Essex in August of that year (see bill on file) but otherwise is in 'as last raced' condition.

Saleroom notices

  • The engine number is 755402. There is no bill of sale with this lot.