Saturday, 7 August 2010

There's lovely

This lovely Ducati 50 is the latest buy for good TB friend and Australian Distributor Paul Stoker. Used as a daily ride in Milan until the previous owner sold it, Paul is a serial Ducati restorer but is finally wondering if the NOS, perfectly primped and pimped look is the future.

My view is that show winning formula is the past, if only the judges would wake up and inhale the espresso. My formal training is as a conservation surveyor, and in a past life I looked over old buildings telling people what needed fixing, and how to do so sensitively and within the law. This is the reason I don't get shiny bikes - I want patina, and the reason I love my 900SS is it's one of the few that still has the paintjob it got in Bologna. The car world is just about getting the idea - I mean, (to pick an extreme) if you had Hailwood or Smarty's racers would you want the scuffs that they put there, or would you want it all as new? And if you want it as new, do you mean like Ducati made them (fly in the fibreglass and all) or how you wish they'd made them?

All very personal, and in the end it's not my bike, but the considered view with antiquities (and legal position with Listed Buildings in the UK) is that the wear and tear tells a story -this 50 was used, and that's hard won Milanese grubbiness telling a fifty year tale. I'd do as little as poss to make it clean and tidy, scrub back any rust with Solvol and put silicone on plastics to stop further hardening. And enjoy it.

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