This time-travelling Ducati went from 1980s reject to 1950s showstopper

The craze for backdating cars supports the old adage ‘they don’t make them like they used to’, but custom motorcycle builders tend to start from a blank canvas instead. This retro Ducati racer refreshingly bucks the trend…

Porsche is the most common choice of car to be ‘backdated’, with companies such as Singer taking later 964s and ‘reimagining’ them into gorgeous amalgamations of all the finest classic 911s. When it comes to motorcycles, however, most builders choose to start afresh and adopt a totally new design with little regard for the donor bike’s lineage. 

Ugly duckling

Lisbon-based builders Maria Riding Company, however, has not created a run-of-the-mill tracker, café racer or bobber for its latest build, but instead paid tribute to the gorgeous Ducati racers of old. The bike started life as a 1980s Pantah 500 that, though technically competent, has not aged particularly gracefully. As such, the team took an old-school aesthetic approach, with narrow wheels, a flowing fairing and tapered tail. The petrol-blue, gold and white colour combination is neither over the top nor underwhelming, and tastefully recalls Ducati’s 1950s track heroes. Fitted with an enlarged 600cc engine, this delectable Ducati has the go to match the show and, unlike its illustrious forebears, will start every morning. 

Photos: Maria Riding Company

You can find a broad selection of classic and modern motorcycles listed for sale in the Classic Driver Market.