- 1974 Ducati 750 SS ‘Green Frame’
- Arguably the most iconic motorcycle of all time
- The model that put Ducati on the map in 1972
- A matching numbers authenticated example
- Known history back to new
The Daytona 200 race for motorcycles had run since 1937 but it was at Imola in 1972 that the first 200 Mile format race was held in Italy. The “Daytona of Europe” attracted some of the worlds leading manufacturers and riders. 70,000 spectators crammed into the stands to see the likes of MV Agusta, Honda, Norton, Motor Guzzi, Triumph and BSA thrash it out against each other and works supported bikes from Kawasaki, Laverda, Suzuki and BMW. As if the quality of machinery wasn’t good enough, the excited crowds would also get to see the best riders in the world slog it out as well, Agostini, Read, Villa and Pickrell to name just a few. Ducati at the time were well known, but their reputation was based around what was described as “quaintly individual” motorcycles. To take them to the next level, Technical Director Fabio Taglioni had been designing a new V-Twin engine using desmodromic valves, initially in 500 then 750cc capacities, for use in competition.
Ducati entered eight of the new 750cc bikes for the Imola 200. During the initial practice laps, Paul Smart wasn’t overly impressed with the bikes performance, but on his return to the pits he was met with cheers of delight and shouts that he had just set a new lap record, on street tyres! During the race itself, Paul Smart took the victory with fellow Ducati rider, Bruno Spaggiari coming in second. This would be a huge turning point for Ducati, not just on the racetrack but in the eyes of the entire motorcycling world.
After the race, Ducati promised to make some “Imola” replicas but it wasn’t until late 1973 when a few prototypes for a road going version of the 750SS were made. In 1974, homologation rules for the FIM stated that 200 examples would need to be built, knowing that there would only be one batch made, Taglioni decided to build 401 so as to homologate the bike for 1974 and 1975, he also personally supervised production.
The production bikes were as close to the original race bike as possible, while still being legal for the road. A special computerised milling machine made each conrod from a solid billet of steel and the rockers were highly polished, as per the race bikes. What really set the 750SS apart was the Azzurro (Blue/Green) frame that would result in the models ‘Green Frame’ nickname.
Today, the original ‘round case’ examples represent the pinnacle of the collector’s motorcycle world and enthusiastic use in club racing and competition means that just a handful of the original 401 survive today and finding one in original condition is nigh on impossible.
The Ducati 750 SS for sale at The Classic Motor Hub, frame number 075016, was first registered to an Ivo Gronchi of Pisa on the 3rd May 1974. He would keep the Ducati until June 1983, at which point he sold it to Dario Tealdi of Milan. In 1989, Dario sold the 750 SS to Joel Nichols of Portland, Maine, USA. The Ducati would stay in the USA until 2005 when it returned to Europe, specifically Germany, where it went into a private collection.
In 2017, the owner at the time commissioned a report on the Ducati 750SS by the world’s leading Ducati authority, Ian Falloon. A detailed book is on file methodically going through what is correct and what has been changed during the course of the bike’s history. Overall the report is very positive, albeit with notifications of certain components having been changed in the bike’s lifetime (read on). Ian concludes his report by saying:
“This is definitely one of the few examples sold in Italy and the engine and frame number correlation is consistent with other known examples. Over the course of its history however, several important components have been replaced, notably the front fork, wheels and brakes.” “Certainly the colours and striping look very correct. Overall this is a good, honest and genuine 1974 Ducati 750 Super Sport.” Ian Faloon, February 2017
In terms of the front fork, wheels and brakes, it is extremely likely that early in its life, this Ducati 750 SS was used for club racing or other competition and many examples had modified or new front forks so as to locate the brake caliper behind the fork, as opposed to in front, so as to improve braking performance. Interestingly, the original 1972 Imola racing bikes ran with rear mounted front brakes. Today, a correct Marzocchi front fork and brake set up has been installed, returning the Ducati to original specification at the front end.
Purchased by the current vendor, an extremely well respected collector of both motor cars and motorcycles, in 2018, the 750 SS was entrusted to Made in Italy Motorcycles for a thorough going through in August 2019 to make sure the Ducati was in tip top condition and to as close to original specification as possible.
Today, the Ducati 750 SS for sale at The Classic Motor Hub presents in fabulous condition with areas of stunning patina to the paintwork, which have been lacquered over for preservation. On the button, the bike is now very much ready to be enjoyed by the next lucky owner and comes with the 1977 specification forks fitted at the time of inspection, a set of rare genuine factory race-kit megaphone exhausts and other sundry spare items.
Truly, a motorcycle for the discerning collector or enthusiast, this stunning Ducati 750 SS is available for immediate inspection at our Cotswold showrooms.
For further information, please contact one of the sales team at The Classic Motor Hub.