Although the Ducati manufacturing organisation could trace its history back to the 1920s it did not start manufacturing motorcycles until the late 1940s and early success led to the appointment of Fabio Taglioni as chief designer in 1954. His first design was a 98cc sporting overhead-camshaft machine, to become known as the Marianna, proved a great success and was to become a competitive entrant for long distance road events so favoured by the Italians. Taglioni built on his success with the introduction of larger displacement machines featuring the now established OHC design which was eminently suited to tuning and serious competition and in 1959 a 125 Taglioni design took a young Mike Hailwood to his first Grand Prix victory. The first 250cc engined bike entered production in 1961 and was an immediate success, to become known in the UK as the 250 Daytona, it was the first of the 'narrow-crankcase' derivatives which would dominate production until the late 1960s, and in 1964 one such derivative appeared in the from of the 'Mach 1.' The Mach 1 featured a tuned motor sporting high lift cams, big valves with stronger springs and modified adjusters, a high compression piston and a 29 mm Del Orto carburettor producing a claimed 28bhp at 8500rpm, against the Daytona's not inconsequential 17bhp. Coupled to a 5 speed gearbox the Mach 1 offered blistering performance for a 250 machine and it was tested at 105mph making it the fastest production 250 of its day.
The example offered here is described by its owner as an older restoration, which has seen little use since and is thought to be in good order throughout though recommissioning is advised prior to future use. Specification includes Giuliari saddle, Silentium silencer and optional and very scarce Veglia 0-10,000rpm tachometer. The roadtax expired in March 2006. Even in its day the Mach 1 was an expensive bike and not a common sight on the roads of Britain.
Good Mach 1's today are rare and are approaching 'cult status,' this machine offers a good opportunity to acquire such an example of an increasingly sought after bike.