1959 Ducati 175 Sport for Sale

1959 Ducati 175 Sport R Side

It’s easy to forget, but Ducati’s history began with a tiny little bicycle motor and their sporting roots are in single-cylinder machines. Unlike today’s “entry-level sportbikes,” they featured sophisticated technology and top-shelf components: the very first production Desmo Ducati was actually a 1968 250/350 Mk 3! It’s a little rough, but this 1959 Ducati 175 Sport would be a great candidate for restoration, or you can just enjoy the classic patina as-is and wait for the value to climb further… I’d be unable to resist putting some new tires on so I could blat around the neighborhood.

1959 Ducati 175 Sport Tank

These are delicate little machines, so different from the hyperbikes that Ducati seems to focus on today: 190hp frameless road missiles, 1200cc naked roadsters, cruisers with impossibly fat, 200mm rear tires.  Not that I don’t lust after those, it’s just that modern bikes have become so much more capable than all but the most skilled riders, a two-wheeled performance pissing match akin to the nearly pointless posturing of the 200+ mph car club.

1959 Ducati 175 Sport L Grip

This is clearly being offered up by an enthusiast. The original eBay listing contains some history of the owner’s relationship with this machine: 1959 Ducati 175 Sport for Sale

I took part in the Italian Motogiro several years ago on a Moto Morini 175 Tresette.  It was truly an incredible experience!  Once I got home, I began collecting a few Giro-eligible 175cc Italian bikes, which have never been easy to locate here in the US.  One of the bikes I felt was a mandatory addition to my collection was a Ducati 175 Sport.  The only problem was finding one.  I searched and searched, and kept coming up empty.  Finally, I was able to locate one but it was located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The logistics were tricky and expensive, but I managed to get the bike crated and shipped back to California.

This particular bike is unique as many electrical components were sourced from Argentinian manufacturers, and these should not be viewed as “incorrect” when the bike is eventually restored.

The “Jelly Mould” gas tank is in very nice solid condition.  I have seen these genuine tanks alone trade for $2500-$3000.

Originally, this bike was going to be restored, but the bike had a unique time-worn patina that i really enjoyed.  It became part of my collection and was displayed many times over the next several years at various events (last was my “Barn Find” display at the 2013 Quail Motorcycle Gathering alongside my Vincent, Harley & Indian).

1959 Ducati 175 Sport R Rear Susp

I took a while for the “jelly mould” tanks to look right to me: they really do have a strange shape. The design is intended to allow the rider’s arms to tuck in close against the tank and the little loops on top allow packages and luggage to be strapped to the tank. According to the seller, it starts easily but has had no fuel in the tank, so it is currently more for display than riding, although that should be fairly simple to correct. When restored, these little bikes just radiate cool, and the vivid paint scheme is one of the most striking ever put on a factory bike.

Bidding is active, but still very low and the reserve has not yet been met.


1959 Ducati 175 Sport L Rear

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4 Responses

  1. RESTORATION?!?!? Tad, I oughtta whack you on the head for the suggestion. This bike, if painted over, will never be original again, and is in totally acceptable condition for all but a true lollipop queen. It would be stupid to restore this motorcycle; I’m usually not judgmental about what one chooses to do with their machinery, but take this small example into consideration: at the Las Vegas auctions last January, two c.1910 Pierce single-cylinder motorcycles came up for auction, one restored, the other original paint. The restored bike, which was beautiful, failed to meet its $35k reserve. The original bike soared to $110,000. THAT’S where the market is headed.

  2. tad says:

    Hey, hey, hey! No whacking me on the head! I specifically mentioned the bike “would be a great candidate for restoration, OR you can just enjoy the classic patina as-is and wait for the value to climb further…”

    But your point is well taken, although I hope someone diving into the restoration of a historic Ducati wouldn’t be making his choice based on my say-so…

    Also: big fan of http://www.thevintagent.com/ so I always welcome your input.


  3. I’ve calmed down… I need a Duc 175 like a hole in the head, otherwise I’d rescue it and keep it cozy in my warehouse.
    You’re doing a great job with this site; finally a worthy successor to Bring a Trailer for moto-heads.

  1. December 2, 2013

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