REPLICAS TO CELEBRATE HAILWOOD COMEBACK
Australian company to produce 12 Mike Hailwood 1978 comeback Ducati replicas.
This year’s Isle of Man TT will mark 40 years since Mike Hailwood’s legendary comeback victory in the 1978 TT, following an 11-year break from racing there while he pursued a car racing career in Formula 1. And to mark the milestone, Vee Two Australia, based in Nannup, Western Australia, the world’s leading specialist in bevel-drive Ducati engines, is producing 12 exact replicas of Mike the Bike’s victorious Ducati 900 TT F1 race bike, the production run quantity commemorating Hailwood’s victorious #12 TT racing number.
Vee Two Australia has secured the original technical drawings for the Ducati’s 883cc 90° V-twin bevel-drive desmo engine, as well as the relevant casting moulds, chassis drawings and technical details – all of which will ensure the bike is an exact replica of the one that powered Hailwood to his historic win.
“The engine used in Mike’s 900 F1 race-winning bike was a prototype motor designed by the Ducati factory in the mid to late 1970s, of which only around eight units were ever made,” Andrew Cathcart, general manager of Vee Two explained. “When Mike won the TT in ’78 the factory had plans for the engine to power the next series of desmo V-twin sportsbikes, but due to Ducati’s struggling financial situation, the bevel-drive format was scrapped in favour of the Pantah-type belt-drive V-Twin, which was less costly to manufacture. This meant that this ultimate bevel-drive engine never reached production, and therefore never made it into the hands of the public. Picking up from where the factory left off, Vee Two Australia is now in a position to offer the engine that powered Hailwood to his legendary victory.”
While the engine will be produced in-house by Vee
Two, the chassis is being built in Italy, again using the original drawings for the race-winning bike’s tubular steel frame.
The bodywork will also be an exact replica of Hailwood’s TT-winning machine, right down to the famous Castrol and Sports Motorcycles stickers on the red and green paintwork. John Keogh, the British designer behind a number of other Vee Two creations, is responsible for the accurate clay modelling that will form the basis of the replica’s bodywork.
Hailwood at Braddan Bridge in victorious 1978 TT ride.
Brook Henry, Vee Two’s chief executive and Andrew Cathcart, general manager.