Picture story: The incredible Ducati engine you don't know

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What’s that a picture of you ask, the engine with the red painted cylinders and somehow familiarly gable-shaped heads? Oh, just a V8 Ducati Formula One engine.

In 1961 F1 rules were set to change following a series of high-profile deaths, reducing engine capacity from 2.5 litres to 1500cc. Ducati genius Fabio Taglioni (also pictured) liked the idea of building a motor to that spec, and to that enddesigned a 1500cc V8 with desmodromic valves which produced 170bhp (competitive with the F1 cars of the day).

But the engine never saw use in four wheels or two, as the firm’s cash-strapped car partner OSCA pulled the plug. It would be a full eight years before the firm’s first mass-produced bike with desmo valves would hit the streets (the Mark 3D).

Engine pic: Phil Aynsley