Monaco

11-12 May 2012

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Lot 140

1980 Ducati 860 Corsa

  • Frame no. DM860SS/090026
  • Engine no. DM860/092798

Sold for €8.775


Specifications: 864 cc SOHC Desmo V-twin, five speeds.



By 1973, prospects for Ducati in Formula 750 looked bleak thanks to the rise of the two-strokes. As a result, Fabio Taglioni decided to focus on endurance racing, which did not have any engine restrictions.



By fitting the 86-mm racing pistons from the 450 single to the 750 V-twin, an 864-cc engine was created and made its debut at the Barcelona 24 Hour Race in 1973. The race took place in the 2.25-mile street course at Montjuich Park in July, and riders Salvador Canellas and Benjamin Grau won at an average speed of 71 mph, completing 720 laps and beating the 2nd place Bultaco by 16 laps. Like the Imola racers, they used the early 750 round case engines, with dry clutch and centre axle Marzocchi forks and Lockheed pattern Scarab brakes.



The 750 Super Sport went into production in 1974, but Grau and Canellas returned to the Barcelona 24 Hours again, with the 860 bike now producing 90 horsepower. They led once again, but this time the gearbox failed at hour 16. Their third attempt at Montjuich occurred in 1975, when their 905-cc V-twin won at 71.74 mph, and they beat their early record by 11 laps.



Meanwhile, the square-case 860-cc engine had made its way into the 750 SS frame to create the 900 SS. One could still get a 750 SS in 1975, but it had a sleeved-down version of the square-case motor. At least the 900 SS owed little to the disappointing 860 GT and retained the right-side gearshift, small CEV taillight, fibreglass fuel tank, open bell-mouth carburettors and no provision for turn signals. These were still basically production racers but with some serious reliability problems. Chief among them were an abrupt ignition advance and heavier pistons, which placed an unsupportable strain on big end bearings.



The problems would be addressed in 1978 with the 900 SS and 750 SS gaining a steel tank instead of the pretty Imola fibreglass one, a left-side gear shift, smaller 32-mm carburettors, quiet Lafranconi silencers and Aprilia switch gear. Luckily many bikes came with the real Contis pipes and 40-mm Dell’Orto carburettors in the crate.



The bike on offer here is a 1980 model and has benefitted from an NCR race kit and is said to have period competition history, being presented in the condition in which it was last raced. It has Marzocchi forks and adjustable rear shock absorbers, PHM 40-mm Dell’Orto carburettors, Brembo brakes, Campagnolo rims and a big-valve engine with race cam, race pistons and special clutch. While it will need fettling, the new owner will certainly enjoy its performance.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more