Lot 330A: Ducati 750 Sport 'Z-Stripe'
Designed by the legendary Fabio Taglioni, Ducati's first road-going 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 shared with the Desmo singles. First of a noble line of sporting Ducati v-twins, the 750 Sport is a true landmark machine; much rarer than, for example, the later Mike Hailwood Replica, it is one of the most highly prized of all Ducatis. The pristine 750 Sport we offer is finished in the so-called 'Z-stripe' livery of the early version. During '73 the model lost its distinctive 'Z' graphics but kept the black engine outer casings, though these reverted to plain polished alloy for 1974, by which time the original fiberglass gas tank had been replaced with a steel item. Like many '1st editions', the '73 750 Sport, of which this is a fine example, is the most focused of this family of sporting Ducatis and consequently highly sought after. Offered on a Certificate of Title.
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Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles
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