In October, the Museum received from Peter Renolt a beautiful, perfect condition and low mileage Ducati Paso, Limited. Seen in this photo, the Paso exemplifies a time when Ducati was owned by Cagiva, and the influences of another wave of “modernization” or streamlining of the motorcycle brought to us by the motorcycle industry. Not unlike what Honda did with the Pacific Coast in 1989 or Ariel did back in the 1950’s with the Ariel Leader, Vincent with the Black Prince, early 1950’s, the Paso, made from 1985 to 1992 in various models and displacements used tight fitting bodywork to enclose mechanicals; might this attract an audience less interested in “machine art?”
Peter bought his 1988 Paso slightly used, just one year old. The odometer now reads just 1647 miles! Both owners kept the Paso indoors, in heated living space. Peter tells us he had a hunch the styling would catch on, grow a wider audience over time and that his machine would become more collectible; the LTD is one of only 50 made, according to the factory. With few machines made in the 1980’s yet reaching any special status, we think it’s too early to tell. Peter says he was looking for a permanent home for his bike, a place that would keep the bike in perfect shape, yet show it to a broader audience. Over the centuries, Italian design is some of the most lasting, and the Museum is happy to have this Paso as part of the permanent collection.
Ducati Motorcycle Company, Bologna, Italy was formed in 1926. Originally they manufactured a variety of electrical components and devices including radios and electric shavers. One of Ducati’s first transportation developments was a lightweight dubbed the Cucciolo, or “puppy. A clip on engine, similar in concept to the American Whizzer, it was targeted at the masses of Italian workers looking for efficient transportation to their places of work in a recovering post-War Italy. As with many makers, soon machines grew in displacement and targeted an audience more performance oriented. 125, 175 and 250 cc machines were manufactured and many riders entered their Ducatis in road races alongside the likes of MV Agusta, Parilla, Moto-Guzzi and other Italian, even British and European marques. Though over the years Ducati has experimented with touring and dual-sport and even power cruiser designs, it’s focus remains high performance motorcycles and road racing competition.
If you have a “museum quality” motorcycle, jacket, helmet, poster or other item, get in touch with the Museum to discuss how it can become part of the Museum Collection. Email museum@nationalmcmuseum.