1951 Ducati 65cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. V2 003650 Engine no. 450880

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Lot 653N
1951 Ducati 65cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. V2 003650 Engine no. 450880

Sold for £ 20,700 (US$ 28,464) inc. premium
1951 Ducati 65cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. V2 003650
Engine no. 450880
• Rare early Ducati motorcycle
• Converted to overhead-camshaft configuration by Giancarlo Morbidelli
• 1993 Moto Giro d'Italia competitor

Introduced in 1946, Bologna-based Ducati's first motorcycle product was the Cucciolo ('little pup') – a 48cc auxiliary engine designed for bicycle attachment - derivatives of which would still be powering its lightweight offerings some two decades later. Ducati had started out as a maker of radios and other electronic products, and by the start of WW2 was Italy's second largest company. When its factory was destroyed by Allied bombing in October 1944, Ducati was all but wiped out. By an amazing piece of good fortune, SIATA (Società Italiana Auto Trasformazioni Accessori), a Turin-based tuning firm specialising in the modification of FIATs, was looking for a commercial partner to produce a clip-on engine for bicycles and turned to Ducati. The Cucciolo power unit had been designed in wartime by Aldo Farinelli, enabling production to commence soon after hostilities ceased. Unusual in being a four-stroke at a time when most such utility units were two-strokes, the overhead-valve Cucciolo was of unitary construction, incorporating a two-speed transmission, and was described by Motor Cycling magazine as "beautifully engineered".

Facing fierce competition in the auxiliary motor market, Ducati took the logical next step and in 1949 introduced a complete machine of its own. Powered by a 60cc derivative of the Cucciolo engine, designed by Giovanni Fiorio, this new motorcycle used a Caproni-built pressed steel frame with cantilever rear suspension, though Ducati was soon compelled to make its own chassis when Caproni ended the collaboration. Fiorio quickly drew up another engine: a 65cc unit with pushrod-operated overhead valves (pullrods had been used hitherto), which went into a new model: the 60 Sport. Early versions had the Caproni chassis, later ones featured Ducati's own. Ducati being Ducati, there was, of course, a competition version of the Cucciolo, and on one of these 60cc racers Franco Petrucci finished 3rd in the 75cc class of the 1951 Milan-Taranto.

This early Ducati motorcycle was restored by Giancarlo Morbidelli and converted by him from pushrod to overhead-camshaft valve actuation. Bought in the early 1990s, the machine was ridden by Mr Morbidelli in the 1993 Moto Giro d'Italia and still carries its competitor number plates. This unique machine is offered with its FMI registration card and 1993 Moto Giro d'Italia competitor's logbook and other paperwork.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

Saleroom notices

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Contacts
1951 Ducati 65cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. V2 003650 Engine no. 450880
1951 Ducati 65cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. V2 003650 Engine no. 450880
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Lot symbols
N NOVA declaration

MOTORCYCLES
If purchased by a UK resident, this machine is subject to a NOVA declaration, whilst the responsibility of submitting the NOVA rests with the Buyer to do so, Bonhams will facilitate the process by engaging an agent (SHIPPIO) to undertake the NOVA and C88 (customs) application if applicable on the Buyer's behalf. A fee of £125 + VAT to do so will be added to the Buyer's invoice.

CARS
If purchased by a UK resident, this machine is subject to a NOVA declaration, whilst the responsibility of submitting the NOVA rests with the Buyer to do so, Bonhams will facilitate the process by engaging an agent (CARS) to undertake the NOVA on the Buyer's behalf. A fee of £250 + VAT to do so will be added to the Buyer's invoice.

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