A reserve bike prepared by NCR for Hailwood in the 1979 was put on sale by a private owner with an estimated price of €20.000-€30.000. The body of the bike was NCR, the engine was up-rated, but the frame was a standard 900 SS.
The bike has Brembo brakes, Marzocchi forks and Marzocchi rear shocks. It has a Veglia competition tachometer, twin Dell’Orto PHM 40-mm carburettors, front oil cooler, Campagnolo wheels oil pressure gauge, Verlicchi handlebars and light clutch.
All enthusiasts know the story of Mike Hailwood’s return to the Isle of Man TT races in 1978 and his success on the Steve Wynne Ducati 900 SS, which led to Ducati’s first World Championship.
At 110.62 mph, Hailwood broke Phil Read’s lap record by nine mph on the way to an immensely popular victory. He followed up with a win at Mallory Park the next weekend, a crash at Donington and a 3rd place at Silverstone against much faster opposition. Ducati was thrilled with the TT result and promised to build Mike Hailwood replicas and also give Hailwood a factory bike for the 1979 TT.
Hailwood tested the 1979 F1 bike at Misano but crashed before any changes could be made, cracking two ribs. After numerous delays, Ducati sent two NCR endurance race bikes to England; one was an endurance machine, and the other was a TT1 variant with a wet clutch engine. Wynne tried numerous modifications—even fitting the 1978 frame—but the bikes could not produce enough power and handled poorly. The best Hailwood could do was 5th place in the TT, and he declined to ride the endurance bike in any other races.