|Auction:||Legend of the Motorcycle, A Sale of Exceptional Motorcycles and Related Memorabilia featuring the Michael Corbin Collection|
|was auctioned on:||3 May 2008|
1981 Ducati 900SS ‘Mike Hailwood’ Replica Frame no. 900737 Engine no. 091365DM860
Price realised: US$15,210
Many think Mike Hailwood was the finest motorcycle road racer of his generation. Some think he was the greatest ever. With nine motorcycle Grand Prix world titles, he was obviously something very special. Hailwood supposedly retired from motorcycles in 1971 to concentrate on automobile racing. Despite winning the 1972 Formula 2 Championship, he never achieved on four wheels what he had on two, and from time to time he succumbed to lucrative offers to return to motorcycles. Some of Hailwood’s earliest successes had come on Ducati small-displacement twins, and when Mike was offered a ride on a Ducati 900NCR V-Twin at the Isle of Man F1 race in 1978, he jumped at the chance. At 37, he was thought to be past his prime and hadn’t raced on the daunting 37-mile circuit in a decade. Nonetheless, he won the six lap race over ordinary two lane country roads bordered by stone walls and buildings at an average speed over 108 mph. This victory, along with the Imola 200 in 1972, was one of the two most important in the elevation of Ducati to Superbike status. The outpouring of emotion over Hailwood’s victory took Ducati entirely by surprise and they had no plan in place to take promotional advantage of the situation. Ducati’s ultimate response was to build the Mike Hailwood replica, beginning in 1979. It was created using the engine and cycle parts of the current 900 Super Sport, a 90-degree V-Twin with bevel-drive camshafts. The subject motorcycle is from the late 1979 through 1980 production of 472. It features the one-piece fairing with the convertible solo/dual seat, steel tank and no side covers, giving it a cleaner profile than later bodywork. The 40 mm Dell’orto carburetors breathe through unfiltered air trumpets. Brembo gold line calipers provide the stopping power for the six-spoke FPS wheels. With mileage under 1600, this Hailwood Replica is a true time capsule, waiting to be ridden and shown. These early Replicas are most in demand as the later models grew more complex in styling and mechanicals as the years went by, adding weight with accessories such as self-starters. Mike Hailwood died in a road accident in March of 1981, but production of the tribute bikes continued as the flagship of the Ducati line until the demise of bevel-drive engine, when the firm was taken over by Cagiva in 1985. Without reserve
Informations about the auction
|Auction house:||Bonhams London|
|Title:||Legend of the Motorcycle, A Sale of Exceptional Motorcycles and Related Memorabilia featuring the Michael Corbin Collection|
|Date of the auction:||3 May 2008|
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