1965 Ducati Could Become The Most Expensive Motorbike Ever Sold
For fans of classic motorcycle racing, the Morbidelli Museum in Pesaro, Italy, was a dream destination, housing around 350 vintage bikes from the 1950s up to the ’90s. But after its founder, famed motorcycle designer Giancarlo Morbidelli, fell ill last year, it was closed.
Now, with Giancarlo’s passing earlier this year at 85, 200 motorcycles from that collection are up for auction, with a rare Ducati topping the list.
Among the Bonham’s Spring Stafford Sale in the UK on April 25 and 26, the 1965 Ducati 125cc four-cylinder Grand Prix is the prize gem, as it’s the only one ever made. The Italian bike maker had withdrawn from racing in 1959, so why they decided on designing a four-cylinder race bike at that time is questionable. In fact, the motorcycle is famous not for motorsport accolades, but for the fact that, by the time it was finished in ’65, it was already obsolete and ended up as a simple display at European shows.
The engine was Ducati’s first four-cylinder, and the first with four valves per cylinder. In later years the bike was sold and lost, and that engine was eventually found again in Latvia by Morbidelli, who had also found the original frame and then had the bike restored to running condition. He even pounded out the fuel tank himself.
Other motorcycles in this collection include various Benelli, Mondial and other Italian classics that could go for more than $100,000 each, but Bonham’s expects this Ducati to fetch between $520,000 and $770,000. Only two other motorcycles have sold for more: a 1915 Cyclone Board Track Racer for $852,500 and a 1951 Vincent Black Lightning that went for $929,000.
*Images courtesy of Bonham’s