Phil and Barbara rejoining

Hi all,

I’m Phil. My wife Barbara and I are rejoining the DOC after many years of lapsed membership. My fascination and love of Ducatis has however remained constant, since I bought my first one a 250 single to learn on, way back in 1973. I loved that bike, when I got it, it had been painted with green household gloss paint. Anyway, I eventually got a Vic Camp tank and seat in it, hand painted the frame with Hamerite (nice shade of blue I seem to remember). Best thing was Vic put a 30mm amal on it, which I guess doubled the power. I saw 100mph on the clock, down Shooters Hill. (Did I mention I was insane?)

The thrill of blasting around on the 250, a growing survival instinct and my regular trips to Vic Camps shop in Walthamstow to get spares and get his mechanic Burt (‘’I think I’ve got a new crank under the bench…’’) to fix it; led me to the Vic Camp racing school on a cold wet winters day at Brands hatch. When my turn came I was handed a 250 racer, which Burt proceeded to wipe the mud off of, as the pervious scholar had slide off it into the mud. They sat me on, gave me a shove and I was off, feet slipping off the pegs because of the mud, slip sliding my way round Brands. Shear terror, but I loved it.

Some kind word from Vic back in the transit. ‘’You did ok, well you stayed on anyway’’ led me to dream of a racing future. I got a 250 desmo production racer, lovely that was, Vic sold me a hot cam, and I was away. Club racing was fantastic. Second season I put the motor in a Spondon (I think it was) frame. Much lighter, went well. Had an even better time, never won a thing, but did come second once in a Bemsee race (pouring with rain, every one in front, except Greg Bailey, fell off!).

As well as this, I moved onto a 350 single on the road, then fell for the love of my life my life, Barbara. In 1975 we married, and bought a 1974 750 GT for our honey moon. Went to Austria, neither of us having ever been abroad before.

Next Duke was a 1976 750 Sport, which I still have (more anon). This took us on a trip to the then Yugoslavia and Greece, then back via Corfu and Italy, finishing with a trip to the French GP, to see Kenny Roberts beat Sheen.

The trip did for the engine in the Sport unfortunately so I pulled it apart, then never quite got round to rebuilding it. A 250 TZ Yamaha appeared on the scene and every waking minute was either working, preparing the bike or racing. Every penny went on the racing. Kept me slim, who needs the Atkins diet?

Numerous other bikes followed, along with 3 kids, which constrained the active motorcycling. Spent plenty of time watching racing though.

Now I’m the proud owner of a 2004 ST4s. fantastic machine that Barbara and I tour on. Southern Spain last summer was the big trip. I can wholeheartedly recommend it. (The trip and the bike).

So why have I rejoined the cub? Because the 750 Sport is being resurrected. I thought I needed the moral support that the club can provide, and more than a little advice.

The bottom end is almost done, moving up the engine, getting the barrels re-bored at present. Plan is to build a 750SS replica because a) I think they are the greatest machine mankind has ever created and b) I’ll never afford an original, unless the lottery pays up and c)the Sport if far from original anyway ( I didn’t mention the Blackwall tunnel and the Artic lorry did I), so I don’t feel too guilty.

So that’s us.

Off to the technical forum for some advice…

Ducatis rule ok. Phil

Good to see you back in the DOC GB! And your story would be great for everyone to read in Desmo :slight_smile:

Hi Phil and Barbara,

I’m envious - would love a 750 Sport. I think it’s probably the best looking bike (ever?). Maybe even better than the SS!

Good to hear about your racing days.
I started racing a couple of years ago at club level on a Ducati 250 (springer, not desmo).
I’ve put a list of races for 2008 on the Racers section of the forum. Not sure where you’re located but if you can make any of the meetings you’d be more than welcome (same applies to all club members).



Good luck with the coming season. When the Sport is finished I hope to get another single, if I could a Spondon framed one. Be great to build a motor these days with dry clutch, close ratio box, and all the bits. None of this was available ‘in my day’, unless you were called Bruno Spagari that is. I think it would be parade laps these days, I don’t bounce as well as I used to. My two Sons are into bikes however, and are based in Manchester, so perhaps we can pop over and see you at Aintree or wherever. Maybe one day, one of them will earn enough to go racing, assuming that is that it is actualy possible to earn enough to go racing!

Soon be March., keep leaning, not many people low side, most bottle and go straight on…