Rare Ceccato Racer Takes Best of Show at 2013 The Meet at the LeMay

Reader Contribution by Richard Backus
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Best in Show: Circa 1955 Ceccato 75cc single was designed by Fabio Taglioni.

An ultra rare circa 1955 single overhead cam 75cc Ceccato racer took Best of Show at The Meet at the LeMay museum in Tacoma, Wash., beating out some 300 bikes for the top honor at the August 24 show. The Ceccato’s jewel-like 75cc engine was designed by famed Ducati engineer Fabio Taglioni while studying for his doctorate at the University of Bologna.

The Ceccato was the lead bike in the Silverman Museum’s amazing display of vintage Ducatis, positioned as the starting bike in a ring of Ducatis from smallest to largest ranging from a 1967 50cc SL/1 to a circa 1978 Ducati F1 900 NCR. In between were a pair of Ducati Gran Sports (also known as the Marianna), a double overhead cam “Bialbero” racer, Elite’s, a 1973 Imola racer and a round case 750SS.

Attendance figures have yet to be released, but we’d estimate Saturday’s crowd at something close to 5,000, with more than 100 enthusiasts sticking around for the Sunday ride, which took participants on a leisurely 80-mile run through the stunning Washington countryside. Associate editor Landon Hall and I made the run on a pair of new Moto Guzzis (a 2013 Norge and a 2013 Griso) kindly supplied by Seattle Guzzi dealer Moto International. Okay, so they may not have been vintage rides, but it was a great opportunity to sample some of Guzzis latest hardware, and we were more than a little thrilled for the opportunity. Moto International’s Dave Richardson, by the way, is the author of Guzziology, the definitive guide for vintage Moto Guzzi fans.

San Francisco City College motorcycle restoration instructor Dave Miller and I judged four categories in the show (Antique American Pre-War, Classic American Post-War, Vintage Italian, and Offroad/Dirt), and we were overwhelmed by the quality of entrants. While there were plenty of quality restorations, we were particularly impressed by some of the original machines on hand, including an incredible 1913 Jefferson board track racer, which we singled out for a special Best Unrestored award.

Best Unrestored: 1913 Jefferson board track racer.

No dates have been set yet for 2014, but we fully expect The Meet at the LeMay to return for round three, and in roughly the same time period. With the LeMay museum as host, The Meet provides a unique setting for vintage motorcycles, giving them center stage in an otherwise vintage car dominated environment. That enviornment works to everyone’s benefit, providing vintage car fans who otherwise might not attend a vintage bike show a compelling reason to attend (museum entrance is included in show admission), and likewise giving vintage bike fans an opportunity to explore the incredible LeMay collection. It’s a win all around, and we’ll let you know as soon as we have dates for the 2014 event. For more on the amazing Ceccato, read our story from the June 2010 issue of Motorcycle Classics.

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