When Andrew was a 17 year-old apprentice, he wanted nothing more than a shiny blue and silver Ducati. In fact, what he really wanted was a 450 Desmo, ‘but I couldn’t find one. This wasn’t a bad second choice,’ he explains. ‘I just wish I’d had enough for a 750SS, but that was too expensive for an apprentice.’
Back in 1975, his £600 budget wasn’t quite enough for a new 750 GT, so Andrew settled for a year old bevel-drive V-twin, first supplied by Freddie Frith in Grimsby. In theory the bike should’ve been nearly new, but ‘the first owner was a fisherman and it spent its early days parked at the docks while he was at sea, so it was a bit tatty for its age.’
Immediate cosmetic surgery was called for, so Andrew added the twin headlamp Dresda fairing, rebuilt the wheels, nickel-plated the frame and transformed its colour scheme from subdued red/black to bright blue and silver. A second stopper was added at the front end, and the engine was rebuilt in 1980 ‘after a piston started to break up.’ Since then, the Ducati has been extremely reliable – helped by electronic ignition which cost around £250: ‘well worth it’.
During its lifetime the GT has travelled at least 40,000 miles ‘but it’s been through a few speedo cables’ so that’s an approximate measurement. Back in the 1970s the GT was Andrew’s daily ride, but now it’s his leisure pursuit for pleasure rides and track days. Andrew reckons the GT feels ‘quick but not fast’ on track. It ‘pulls well and makes a nice noise. And it stops much better with the second disc!’