c.1957 Ducati 125cc Grand Prix Racer

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Lot 164
c.1957 Ducati 125cc Grand Prix Racer

Engine no. 540

US$ 85,000 - 125,000
£ 67,000 - 99,000
c.1957 Ducati 125cc Grand Prix Racer

Ducati Meccanica decided to hire ex-Bologna University scholar Fabio Taglioni of FB Mondial in the mid-1950s to design a new engine capable of winning out of the box. Upon joining, Taglioni undertook the design of what was to become the 98cc Gran Sport or Marianna. This machine dominated its class in long distance street racing and was the foundation for Borgo Panigale's overhead cam single and twin cam, and desmo singles that helped make Ducati into the winner it is today.

The new SOHC bevel racing model was first a capacity of 100cc in 1955 and was a convincing class winner. Soon a 125cc version followed with equal success, opening the budget for a proper 125 Grand Prix race bike. Introduced in 1956, the first Bialbero used conventional rocker arms, the valves opening and closing via coil springs. This design proved unreliable and so in short order a "desmodromic valve closing" design was created. While 1957 became a season of development for the works bikes, it also allowed the factory to produce some "continuously developing" twin-cam production, privateer race bikes. Perhaps 50 were made in total during 1957 and 1958. And were they ever successful?

This machine, most likely sent to Spain and run in local races by Ducati's Spanish "partner", Mototrans, possibly with local racer, Vila, aborad, then came to the USA via Germany where it may have been raced by a then Italian works rider. The bike was meticulously restored to original specification, and reportedly starts and runs well. It is being sold from a reputable private Ducati collection.

This is a clearly unique opportunity to acquire a genuine benchmark Ducati production race bike – a valuable work of mechanical art.

Footnotes

  • Offered on a Bill of Sale.
Contacts
c.1957 Ducati 125cc Grand Prix Racer
c.1957 Ducati 125cc Grand Prix Racer
c.1957 Ducati 125cc Grand Prix Racer
c.1957 Ducati 125cc Grand Prix Racer
c.1957 Ducati 125cc Grand Prix Racer
c.1957 Ducati 125cc Grand Prix Racer
c.1957 Ducati 125cc Grand Prix Racer
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