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[source: Amelia Island Concours]
Ducati is the fourth motorcycle marque to be honored by “The Amelia” with a one class display on the concours field of The Golf Club of Amelia Island. The Italian maker of exotic high performance motorcycles joins former honorees Triumph, BMW and Vincent as “The Amelia’s” one marque motorcycle class for 2013.
A field of 18 rare and significant Ducatis will appear at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on March 10, 2013, led by the seminal “Cucciolo” that, in 1946, began Ducati’s rise to the pinnacle of motorcycle excellence and success.
Ducati is a member of an exclusive club of motor manufacturers that grew from the rubble of post war Europe. Like Ferrari and Porsche, Ducati has strong pre-war roots. Unlike the exotic sports car builders, Ducati produced electronic equipment, most notably radios, before the war. By 1939 Ducati was Italy’s second largest company with nearly 11,000 employees. The war ended Ducati’s primary business. Revival came from SIATA who allied with Ducati to produce small, clip-on engines for bicycles. It was the perfect product for the times. Delivering over 75 mpg, the little bicycle engine changed the course of the company.
Like Ferrari and Porsche, Ducati has a dominant central character. Designer/engineer Fabio Taglioni played the starring role for Ducati as Ferdinand Porsche did for his eponymous German engineering company. Taglioni’s first design was a small masterpiece. The 100cc Gran Sport, nicknamed “Marianna”(for the Madonna) was the first motorcycle to wear the Ducati name . When racer Giovanni Degli Anotoni won the 1955 Motogiro d’Italia on a “Marianna”, the course of Moto Ducati was set.
For 30 years Taglioni led Ducati to victories and championships from his drafting table. In 1977 Cook Neilson chronicled the transformation of a Ducati street bike into a Daytona Super Bike winner in his Racer’s Road series for Cycle Magazine. He won the 1977 Daytona Super Bike race on the Ducati 750 SuperSport nicknamed “Old Blue” made famous through Neilson’s Cycle Magazine series. A year later, motorcycle racing legend Mike Hailwood won the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy on a Ducati 900SS, further blurring the distinction between Ducati production motorcycles and pure racing bikes. In 2013, “The Amelia” will feature Ducatis in both corsa (racing) and strada (street) trim.
A tribute 1974 Ducati 750SS nicknamed “Deja Blue”, for the ’77 Daytona Super Bike winner, shares “The Amelia’s” exclusively Ducati field with a collection of the Italian thoroughbreds. The display will chronicle a half-century of Ducati history from the seminal “Cucciolo” through the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum’s 1979 Hailwood Isle of Man racer, to famous motor cycle author Vicki Smith’s 1997 Ducati 916SPS.
“Ducati is one of those rare machines that, like Ferrari, is capable of stirring the blood of a certain kind of rider,” said John Duss, Amelia Concours Board Member and “The Amelia’s” resident motorcycle expert and historian. “Ducati has, through excellence and competition, become not only famous, but an aspirational motorcycle.”
About The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance
Now in its second decade, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. Always held the second full weekend in March, “The Amelia” draws nearly 250 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for a celebration of the automobile like no other. Since 1996, the show’s Foundation has donated over $2 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc. and other deserving charities on Florida’s First Coast. The 18th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for March 8-10, 2013. For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.orgor call 904-636-0027.