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For the inaugural Imola 200 in 1972, Ducati prepared eight new desmodromicvalve racers. In a tremendous upset, Ducati riders Paul Smart and Bruno Spaggiari defeated Giacomo Agostini on his works MV Augusta. The Ducati victory ushered in a new era for the firm and set the stage for international success. In 1974, Ducati built 401 homologation specials, such as the one on offer, which were road-going versions of the Imola 200 winner. Dashing in their silver and green livery and powered by Ducati’s glorious bevel-drive twin, the Super Sports were an immediate success. The influential magazine Cycle described the Ducati as “a bike that stands at the farthest reaches of the sporting world.”
The consignor acquired this lovely example about five years ago from a Ducati collector in Canada, who participated in club racing on this bike and then stored it in his garage for many years. After purchasing the Ducati, the consignor sent it to the renowned Pebble Beach award-winning firm Rare Drive Inc. of New Hampshire, for a mechanical rebuild, while preserving the patina of this highly original bike. This process included an engine rebuild by a Ducati expert and a two-year search for the very rare correct front brake. The suspension, brakes, and gearbox were also rebuilt, and the gas tank was resealed. The consignor states that the Ducati retains largely original paint although the fairing, side covers, and part of the fender were refinished by Rare Drive. Presented here is a remarkable example of one of the most beautiful and collectible Italian motorcycles in existence.