Rides from the Readers: 1987 Ducati F1
Hagerty readers and Hagerty Drivers Club members share their cherished collector and enthusiast vehicles with us via our contact email, firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re showcasing some of our favorite stories among these submissions. To have your car featured, send complete photography and your story of ownership to the above email address.
Today’s featured ride is a 1987 Ducati F1. Handsome yet unforgiving, the 1984–88 Ducati F1 celebrated Tony Rutter’s four TT2 World Championships as a street-going replica of Rutter’s race bike. Over its production run, the F1 was influenced by Ducati’s sale to Cagiva, which was interested in more mainstream offerings and shoved the F1 to the side. Despite the constricted production numbers, output from the 750cc twin increased from 62.5 hp in 1985 to 75 hp in 1986, thanks to new cylinder heads boasting larger valves. Later bikes also employed a dry, rather than a wet, clutch, and sourced their front forks from different manufacturers.
This particular F1 belongs to Gary Patton, who raced motorcycles in the late 1980s and, when he saw the ’87 F1, decided to take it on track immediately—but not before fellow racer Geoff McCarthy got his hands on it. McCarthy, who was only 19 at the time, took the bike to Mexico for the infamous La Carrera and notched first place with an average speed of 108.75 mph. Patton then took over the bike’s race resume, piloting the F1 to a 10th-place finish in the Grand Prix class in the 1987 Battle of the Twins, held at Laguna Seca, and taking ninth a year later at the same event.
“The F1 and I won AFM and ARRA races,” Patton writes, “capping it off with a heavyweight Battle of the Twins ARRA Championship in 1988.”
By the early 1990s, Patton decided the bike deserved a restoration; the only original components were the original frame and swingarm. Several years later, the restoration was completed, and Patton’s race bike now sits proudly among its siblings in his Ducati collection. “They are all special, but my old race bike is my treasured piece.”