The history of the Ducati 750 SS Corsa is pretty interesting as is strongly related to the famous Mike Hailwood.
Mike Hailwood’s comeback victory at the Isle of Man in 1978, 11 years after he had retired and at the age of 38, holds a warm spot in the heart of every Ducati fan. But mention Paul Smart at Imola in 1972, and one will generate even more enthusiasm. At that Italian racetrack on 23 April, 1972, 70,000 race fans watched underdog Ducati defeat the world’s best riders on what were previously assumed to be the world’s best bikes. The riders included world champion Giacomo Agostini, Phil Read, Cal Rayborn and Walter Villa competing in the inaugural 200-mile race, much like Europe’s Daytona, with more than $40,000 in prize money.
Agostini took off in the lead with Smart and Spaggiari behind him, but Smart passed him on lap four and Spaggiari a lap later. After that, the two Ducatis diced with each other until the finish—Spaggiari passing Smart but then running wide as he started to misfire, low on fuel. The Ducatis finished one-two at an average speed of 97.76 mph, with Smart, Spaggiari and Agostini sharing the fastest lap at 100.1 mph. The “green frame” Ducati 750 Super Sport had arrived.
However, it looked as though two-strokes were soon going to rule Moto GP, and Ducati switched the V-twin to endurance racing, which had no engine restrictions. By boring the cylinders to 86 mm and using 450 racing pistons, the 864-cc 900 SS was created. The new bike made its race-winning debut at Montjuich Park, Barcelona, where Benjamin Grau and Salvador Canellas won the 24 hours endurance race in July 1973.
Hit the jump for more pictures.