DOHC 1957 Ducati GP 125
Sold For £77,000
Frame Number: DM542
Engine Number: 542
Body Colour: Red
Ducati had risen from the ashes left by the Second World War with the help of both the Italian Government and the Vatican and by 1948 were once again producing radios, cameras, cinema projectors and, in a new field for the company, motorcycles, in the form of the Cucciolo 48cc "clip-on" engine. The success of the unit prompted the creation of a complete motorcycle, initially in partnership with Aero Caproni which continued until 1950. The success of the Cucciolo underpinned work on a new range of single cylinder machines in the 65cc class using push rod valve operation which quickly grew to encompass 100cc models. The 1953 Milan Show witnessed the introduction of the first sporting Ducati, the 98S, which was powered by a tuned version of the ohv single. Although successful commercially, the little machine was outclassed by its rivals when used in long distance races such as the Giro d'Italia and the Milano - Taranto. Success in these events guaranteed increased sales in the increasingly competitive Italian market and prompted Ducati Meccanica to hire Fabio Taglioni to design a new engine capable of competing with and beating rival machines from the likes of Laverda. Taglioni had graduated from Bologna University before joining the successful FB Mondial team. On joining Ducati Taglioni undertook the design of what was to become the 98cc Gran Sport or Marianna, a machine that would dominate its class in long distance racing and lay the foundation for the development of the hugely successful over head cam and "desmo" singles that would emerge from Bologna during the next decade and a half.
The new model was designed as a racing machine first and foremost, with the capacity for further development being engineered into its design from the outset. Displacing 99.66cc, it featured a bevel gear driven over head camshaft engine that produced 9 bhp at 9,000rpm.
Image and description kindly supplied by H&H Classic Auctions