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I've been looking longingly at Ducatis for several years now and have had every intention of going the normal route and purchasing one in top condition once I moved to a larger place and had the money saved up. Well that search came to a rapid close in March and heres the how and why:

I was getting ready to take a red eye to Cape Canaveral for work on a saturday evening when a coworker and chopper enthusiast shot me an email to check out an obviously fake eBay classified ad "just in case." I checked the ad for a 2001 996 which had been posted less than 10 minutes earlier and even though it was clearly a ludicrous posting, I was surprised to find a phone number which I immediately called. The owner picked up and I started asking a few questions to figure out what was missing from the ad or being covered up. He seemed honest over the phone and was adamant that the bike was just as advertised. He also noted that I was the first to contact him. I practically screamed for him not to move from his seat and to give me his address. I was in my truck looking for an ATM 30 seconds later - had the cash I needed 10 minutes after that. I called the number again and told the owner I was on the way and he responded that 6 other people had called since my first contact and they were all heading his way. Even though I had the holeshot, I also had 28 miles of LA highway to cover in a 1988 Jeep Comanche. I called my other coworker who has a 748 and told him I would pay any speeding tickets/damages/bail acquired but I needed him to get to this address NOW.

24 minutes later I left my truck running in the middle of the street outside the address and called the poster again - He came outside and told me the bike was still here- I was the first to make it. We went around back and there under the carport, under a tightly wrapped nylon tarp was my first Ducati. He pulled off the wrapping paper and I tried to keep my eyes in my head as I blurted out SOLD. Right when we were heading inside to make things final the second set of obviously panicked potential buyers showed up. They could see the deal was done but they started begging for a bidding war. The owner, a mid 50s gentleman who obviously lived comfortably, quietly apologized to them and stated that there would be no bidding, the ad clearly said first come first served and the bike was now sold. I was FLOORED.

My buddy on the 748 showed up right then and he went around back and stood watch over the 996 while I went inside to sign the paperwork. 5 minutes later I had the clean, clear California title in my hand, along with the license plate and any maintainence records "Dave" could dig up. When we came outside 3 more trucks were parked in the street and about 7 people were crowded around the 748 that was parked out front. Perfect decoy.

We loaded the 2 nearly identical bikes into my truck and shook hands. The greatest deal in my life had just been done.

I was now the owner of an all original (except for the full Fast-by-Feracci and PC), one-owner, never dropped, 9,250 mile, 2001 Ducati 996. For $450. Here are some screenshots of the ad and pics of her the night she came home...
















Apparently "Dave" had purchased the bike for himself on his 40th birthday and had ridden it strictly for pleasure in the LA area. Work got serious and he parked it. He meant to get back on it but after sitting for almost 6 years on and off the bike had started to show some heavy corrosion on the suspension and drive train so he decided it was time to part with it. His reasoning for the price is still beyond me but I was too timid to ask...

I plan to bring this beauty back to life starting with a full teardown and assessment of the corrosion - which is worst on the forks and shock. Frame strip and powdercoat, new bearings and seals, hardware etc... Before I try to get the engine running, I plan to replace the belts and check the valves and possibly even rockers for flaking...

Im traveling alot myself until the end of April but I plan to be riding this summer... Stay tuned.
 

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You totally suck! Wow, nice nab! Well done...I could only wish for something like that to happen to me. Congrates!
 

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Awesome Deal. Have fun with it.

t_bare
 

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Good for you, good luck with rebuild.
 

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You magnificent bastard! :D

Enjoy!

Jeff
 

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Very very cool!!!!

Plus a cool way to start a very rewarding build project:D
 

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The pictures shows $450. What was the buy price?
 

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Congrats! Great find, now get wrenching and have fun!

I got my 748 for not much more than that and needing work, my first thought was to part it out and use the suspension and wheels on my other project (that's why I got it in a first place) but a friend with another 748 kept insisting that I should rebuild it.

I spent few winter month working on the bike tearing it down to bare frame and building it back up and by February got my first ride in, it was a great experience, both the rebuild and the first ride when I showed up at the local dealer where I was buying parts all winter to show off my project

for all y'all from the south that white stuff in background is called Snow

 

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2004 998S FE, 2000 748B, 1986 750 F1
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I read the opening post of this thread to my husband. It's official - we all hate you, even the dog hates you;)

Good luck, have fun with the restoration and we will only forgive you when you post up your impressions following your first ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Bring on the hate, I certainly deserve it! It would take a double dose of a particularly strong hallucinogen to dream up a deal like this and I'm still recovering from the shock of it.

I've gotten some initial teardown started and so far it's in better condition than I expected - pics to follow.

Namor - the FJ was a 1980 - just sold it. 13 passenger "troopy" model imported from Queensland. Right hand drive with a bulletproof straight six diesel. It was a fun truck but never used out here.

S74acker - buy price was $460 out the door because I only had $20 bills and he didn't have change. I'm not gonna sweat the $10 though.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Haha don't worry I'm not an Aussie, just an east coaster who relocated to the LA area. I got the FJ through a guy who imports them directly to Arizona from all over the world.

Thanks for the support everyone - it's literally killing me that I'm on a business trip right now instead of neck deep in this project.

Dmitry - bike looks great. Definitely encouraging. I can't wait for my first ride on the PCH.
 

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that is an awesome score. nice to see someone with principles too. once the deal is done, the deal is done. I've had people ring me up when selling stuff and offered me double what I'd just agreed to sell it for to someone else (money not even changed hands at this point), but my word is worth something and when I tell someone we have a deal, we have a deal.

it looks pretty good. there will be lots of stuff needing to be done because it was sitting so long. but on the plus side the plastics look fantastic and they are $$$ to replace with genuine bits. pretty cool that it's a monoposto too, they are a nicer looking bike with the mono tail (says an envious owner of 2 996 bipostos).

hope you really enjoy it and at least it didn't go to some clown how would just turn around and flog it for say $2K for some quick cash...
 

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You may have a better buy than my 998R, depending on your rebuild costs. Looks absolutely great! I wouldn't have hesitated either.
 
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