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Lot 347: Ducati 750SS Replica

Motorcycle and Motorcars, Bonhams & Butterfields (14 November 2009)

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 un-fancied 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 AMA 'Battle of the Twins' (BOTT) and club Super Street racing in the 1980s.

Smart's bike was based on the 750 GT 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.

The 750SS received rave reviews in the motorcycling press, being hailed by Cycle magazine as 'a bike that stands at the farthest reaches of the sporting world - the definitive factory-built café racer.' Only 401 examples of the original 'round case' version were built before being superseded by the less desirable 'square case' model for 1975, and today the landmark '74 750SS is one of the most sought-after of all Ducatis.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 was built by Bob Miller of Clinton, CT. (It should be noted that although the frame number falls within the sequence of the production 750SS of 1974, the engine number does not, while another obvious difference is the positioning of the rear brake caliper, which is located above the swingarm on an original 750SS). Presented in lovely condition, this motorcycle represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a first class 750SS replica at a considerable saving on the cost of an original.

Lot Details
Auction Motorcycle and Motorcars
Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number347
Estimate$25000-$35000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$28000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$32760
Year1975
Condition rating1
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberDM750SS 075346
Engine numberDM750 756332
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors