1973 Ducati 750cc Sport Frame no. 753768 Engine no. 753768

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Lot 132
1973 Ducati 750cc Sport
Frame no. 753768 Engine no. 753768

Sold for US$ 32,200 inc. premium
1973 Ducati 750cc Sport

Frame no. 753768
Engine no. 753768

• Hidden away for many years
• For careful re-commissioning

Designed by the legendary Fabio Taglioni, Ducati's first road-going bevel-drive v-twin - the 750GT - arrived in 1971. Lacking the resources of larger Far Eastern rivals, Ducati had made the most of what it already possessed to create one of the all-time great post-war motorcycles. A 90-degree vee, the engine looked like two of the Bologna firm's bevel-drive overhead-cam singles on a common crankcase (which in essence it was) though the use of coil valve springs represented a departure from Ducati's traditional hairpins. The 90-degree layout made for exceptional smoothness but a lengthy wheelbase, a handicap more apparent than real that failed to stop the fine-handling Ducati vees notching up a succession of wins in Formula 750 events, commencing with Paul Smart's famous victory at Imola in 1972.

Smart's bike was based on the 750 GT tourer introduced that year, as was the 750 Sport. The latter was an altogether more exciting looking beast than the GT and backed up its stunning appearance with improved performance courtesy of a maximum power hike from 50 to 56bhp. Built only until the end of 1974, the Sport underwent minor changes to its frame, front fork and disc brake but otherwise changed little, and was only ever sold in the classic yellow/black livery. If the GT was Ducati's all-around, thoroughly competent 750cc v-twin roadster, then the Sport was its ne'er-do-well boy-racer brother. Same basic bevel-drive, spring-valve motor, totally different attitude. The Sport got a narrow, racy bread-loaf gas tank and bum-stop seat patterned after Imola racers, both finished in a blaring yellow-orange. Clip-on handlebars and rearset footpegs tilted the rider forward, all the better to get "under the paint" for top-speed blasts, around-town comfort not a concern. Engine side covers and fork leg lowers were blacked out.

Power was bumped by a useful 5bhp, thanks to larger 32mm carbs and higher-compression pistons. Café-racing was just catching on in the U.S. for the first time and the bike gained an instant following, among them the editors at The Wonderful World of Cafe Racers, obviously enraptured with the Sport's considerable cornering prowess. "The motorcycle's handling is so stable that ineptitude becomes mere mediocrity, mediocrity in turn graduates to competence and competence blossoms into sheer corner-swooping finesse," they wrote.

This lovely example has been "hidden away" for many, many years as part of the late Larry Klein's collection stored in the GT Motors bookshop office in Lansing, Michigan. Very little is known about it – there's no history or registration file left – although it appears to be complete, although lacking tank decals, and in very clean, substantially "correct" condition. It was stored inside and in a climate controlled room. Its mileage is thought to be accurate but it does have 1974-spec. handle bars and the tail light is thought to be from a 450 Scrambler. No one is certain whether it has been restored or not; however, it shows no wear beyond that reflected by its mileage. Further with careful re-commissioning – likely not extensive – it should start and run strongly. What is clear, though, is that it is a true example of this increasingly hard-to-find icon.

Saleroom notices

  • The frame number is DM750S 753898 DGM9595. The engine number is DM750 753768. The title is in transit.
Contacts
1973 Ducati 750cc Sport Frame no. 753768 Engine no. 753768
1973 Ducati 750cc Sport Frame no. 753768 Engine no. 753768
1973 Ducati 750cc Sport Frame no. 753768 Engine no. 753768
1973 Ducati 750cc Sport Frame no. 753768 Engine no. 753768
1973 Ducati 750cc Sport Frame no. 753768 Engine no. 753768
1973 Ducati 750cc Sport Frame no. 753768 Engine no. 753768
1973 Ducati 750cc Sport Frame no. 753768 Engine no. 753768
1973 Ducati 750cc Sport Frame no. 753768 Engine no. 753768
1973 Ducati 750cc Sport Frame no. 753768 Engine no. 753768
1973 Ducati 750cc Sport Frame no. 753768 Engine no. 753768
1973 Ducati 750cc Sport Frame no. 753768 Engine no. 753768
1973 Ducati 750cc Sport Frame no. 753768 Engine no. 753768
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