In the drowsy English country town of Stowmarket you will locate one of the world’s top Ducati specialists: Made In Italy Bikes. For thirty years John Fallon restoring Ducatis and has been buying, selling –and we have eventually snared a group of pictures that reveal the unbelievable quality of his work.
It is a greatly customised 860 GT Super Sport machines. The guy in charge of the metallurgy is Fallon’s workshop guru Neil Ridgewell, who is additionally a qualified Ferrari, Bentley and Maserati tech.
Ducatisti most will scratch their heads looking at this motorcycle, so it is worth digging into the backstory a little. It begins with Giorgetto Giugiaro, the world’s most lauded automobile designer in the 1970s.
Sensuous curves were drawn by Giugiaro for De Tomaso Alfa Romeo and Maserati, and posters of his automobiles adorned millions of teen bedroom walls.
That means Ducati can’t be blamed by you for requesting the 860 GT to be designed by Giugiaro. But Giugiaro unexpectedly changed tack, and dumped the curves for what became known as the ‘folded paper’ appearance.
It worked for the VW Golf as well as the Lotus Esprit, but left the angular 860 GT seeming clumsy and out of place in the lineup of the Bologna factory.
The 860 GT isn’t a poor motorcycle apart from a minor inclination. And this one has the looks to match its abilities.
It is a 1977 model possessed by Tom Craig, who had set his heart on a ‘green framework’ 750 Super Sport. “Tom was living in Monaco and needed a motorcycle for day trips into the mountains and around to Italy,” he reports. “But I was left with an 860 GT.”
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