The Ducati 750SS, the 'green frame' model, probably the most collectable classic 1:1 size
Ducati there is. This one in the photo is a bit smaller; it's my little 1:24 model made by IXO,
painstakingly deep-etched into the same background I used for my earlier posting on
the Vincent Black Shadow.
This is the 'grandfather' of my own bike, the 1969 model Moto Guzzi V7 Special, presented
here as a 1:24 model made by Starline. It's not really my dream Moto Guzzi – I prefer
both the California as a cruiser, and the Le Mans as a sports bike – but this is the bike
which gave Moto Guzzi V-twins a great start in earning an enviable reputation for quality
and reliability. And I wanted a model of my own bike's spiritual ancestor.
The first prototypes of the new big Moto Guzzi V-twin appeared in 1965, using the engine which powered Moto Guzzi’s three-wheeled military vehicles. The first production models went on sale in 1967, and the V7 series appeared in 1969, as a 700cc bike at first (called the V7), but which quickly turned into the 750cc V7 Special. It made 60bhp, could get up to 115mph (186km/h) but this was a big, heavy 228kg (502lb) tourer, not a sports bike at all. And it wasn't cheap. In fact it was almost as expensive as you could get at the time.
I started bike riding in 1971 (on a very crappy BSA 250) and I always remember the Moto Guzzi V7 Special that some lucky rich guy in my suburb owned. I saw him on it every now and then, and while it was so far out of my price range that it was in the "in your dreams, son" category, I knew that I was only 18 and that hope springs eternal in a young man's breast. (By the way, the V7 Guzzis might be more familiar to North American readers as the ‘Ambassador’.)
No, this is not my best diorama yet. It's my own 1:1 scale Moto Guzzi V7 Classic (2009 model),
pictured out in the NSW countryside enjoying what itdoes best, gobbling up country roads with
ease. You can see the family resemblance to Grandpappy above, but its engine is not of the
same provenance. This 750cc twin is based on a later V-twin designed by Lino Tonti. The
original V-twins were designed by Giulio Carcano, the man who also designed that other
famous Guzzi engine, the V8 Grand Prix bike. My bike's engine has a lot less flywheel than
the older Guzzi donks,with which I have spent many miles travelling Australia's highways.
MyGuzzi's engine revs more easily, has a much nicer gearbox, too, but it does share
one thing in common with the old fellas. It makes beautiful music.
And so I should finish off with that promised sound check, courtesy of You Tube. A Guzzi Le Mans in a tunnel, then emerging from a tunnel. It only takes a few seconds, but it sounds about right to me, an Italian V-twin melody.