Mike Hailwood is arguably the best bike racer of all time. During his 10-year Grand Prix profession, Mike the Bike gained 50 p.c of his 152 race begins. That culminated in 76 victories, 112 podiums, and 79 quickest laps. In addition to that illustrious report, Hailwood additionally dominated the Isle of Man TT (IOMTT), gathering 12 wins within the 125cc, 250cc, 350cc, and 500cc courses between 1961 and 1967.
The residing legend bid farewell to the Grand Prix circuit and Snaefell Mountain Course in 1967, however he wasn’t executed racing. After a four-year stint in Formula 1 (1971-1974), Mike received the itch to get again on the bike. Eleven years faraway from bike racing, many doubted the 38-year-old rider’s prospects on the 1978 IOMTT.
Manchester dealership Sports Motorcycles nonetheless believed within the Grand Prix nice, nevertheless, backing Hailwood with the well-known Ducati 900 SS. The nine-time world champ went on to win that 12 months’s F1 race aboard the long-lasting Duc, fortifying Hailwood’s place within the report books.
The story is so revered within the motorcycling neighborhood that Hollywood star Eric Bana bought the rights to supply a movie based mostly on the unbelievable comeback. With Bana’s Pick Up Truck Pictures operating the present, the Australian actor plans to write down, co-direct, and star within the Hailwood biopic.
Of course, accuracy is vital to retelling the well-known IOMTT story. Unfortunately, following the 1978 race, Ducati capitalized on Hailwood’s success by promoting round 7,000 models of the Hailwood Replica. But, these client examples didn’t tout the identical race engine that powered Hailwood to victory.
Luckily, Western Australia’s Vee Two is the go-to store for devoted Ducati 900 SS reproductions. Vee Two proprietor Brook Henry bought the drawing and casting patents for a Ducati endurance engine, which the Bologna model stuffed into Hailwood’s 1978 IOMTT race rig. He then reproduced the powerplant and launched the Vee Two Hailwood in 2018. Each duplicate requires 18 months to construct and Vee Two solely plans to supply 12 models at £110,000 ($130,000 USD) a pop.
As luck would have it, Henry was clearing rights for the Vee Two Hailwood on the similar time that Bana was speaking with the Mike Hailwood Foundation. Those conversations led Bana to fee two Vee Two Hailwood builds for the upcoming manufacturing. Henry’s fastidious craftsmanship could also be retaining a legend alive, however we are able to’t wait to see his handiwork on the silver display screen.