Ducati green frame is not green it’s blue

The iconic Ducati green frame is not green it’s blue so when you see a 1974 Ducati 750SS with a green frame, you can be sure the colour is definitely wrong. We do not want to comment on other people’s restorations as it’s not our business, we are bringing to light an issue that needs to be addressed. We have been working on the Amelia Island green frame for nearly a year, you can see some of our videos on YouTube here with more to come about bodywork and colours soon. On the playlist for this bike on our channel, you will see the work we had to do to revive the engine and repair it after a fault when new from the factory and the damage that twenty five years of being in a static collection caused as well.The machine was pretty much unrestored with 5,000 miles from new and had not turned a wheel in twenty five years in a static collection in Florida. The frame, fuel tank, side panels, rear mudguard and seat were certainly unrestored. 

Unrestored 1974 Ducati 750SS green frame
There are no bargains when it comes to investment grade classic motorcycles, poor examples can be snapped up on the cheap, but they will never be investment grade like this green frame.

Green frame name

The green frame name is completely wrong, the colour the frame was painted was Azure Blue, a turquoise Sky Blue, and it was a colour from a Ducati outboard motor. Although it was turquoise, it was very much blue, not a green kind of turquoise. We have had the original paint analysed in a lab and now know exactly what the paint was and how it worked. The colours were a type of top coat paint for the silver and Azure Blue for the frame, then a clear coat was used over the blue top coat. The bodywork was then all sprayed silver, then the blue line was applied and the clear coat went over that. The clear coat would yellow over time, turning the blue line on most of the bodywork green, but not all of it. The frame didn’t turn green because nearly all of the frame was hidden from the UV light because a lot of the rails are vertical and inboard of the bodywork. They are also protected and in the shadow of the bodywork. When you remove the bodywork the frame is not bluer underneath the fibreglass, so it was completely protected from the UV. This should have been dubbed the blue frame, but it is likely that the person who threw that nomenclature at the bike perceived blue as green, as colour is so subjective. The blue line on most of the bodywork did turn a sort of green over time, the silver yellowed turning almost gold in extreme cases due to the UV and because the bodywork was so exposed.

1974 Ducati 750SS frame paint match
1974 Ducati 750SS frame paint match is from an unrestored machine. Clearly the frame a turquoise and very blue. There is no green in this colour.

Green frame metallics are very flat

Green frame metallics are very flat, as are all metallics from this era, they did not have a metal flake in them, it was almost a metallic grey without a real metallic. There is no flop to the paint, either which is nothing like a modern paint at all. The flop is where the colour darkens as you move around it and modern metallics all have a flop to them. The blue is without a flop at all, there’s no perceivable metallic and definitely absolutely no metal flake or pearl. It took us over two hundred and thirty attempts to recreate the silver and one hundred and fifty attempts to recreate the Azure Blue using modern paint. The match we created is now spot on, but it is not something a scanner will recreate for you, the scanner will only lead you down rabbit holes. Consequently, nearly all green frames I have seen which are not original paint are completely the wrong colours.

Ducati green frame is not green it's blue
1974 Ducati 750SS green frame silver is very flat and this requires the shine to be knocked off as they were a very low gloss, pretty much satin finish when new.

Most restored Ducati green frames are the wrong colour

Now we know that most restored Ducati green frames are the wrong colour, this is something to consider when buying a 1974 Ducati 750SS green frame. With the passage of time, owners will want them repainted the correct colours, which is a massive job. However, the cost of this work is only going to increase over time and not get any cheaper as labour rates, materials, rents, rates and electricity show no signs of lowering over the coming years.  Now really is the time to address this issue as it is something to take into account when looking at buying a 1974 Ducati 750SS green frame. The cost of this work is in addition to the cost of buying the motorcycle. This does not mean that every restored 1974 Ducati 750SS green frame has been painted the wrong colours and it is not something which can be confirmed by photograph. Either buyers need to send someone who knows to go and look at the bike, which is usually in a different country or continent. Considering the cost of doing such a check, it is probably just more prudent to accept that you will probably need to have the frame removed, all bodywork stripped and repainted. The best way forward is to budget for a repaint and if you get lucky, then you’ve saved yourself a significant amount on your purchase. 

Ducati green frame prices are set to rise further
Amelia Island 1974 Ducati 750SS green frame, it can be seen how the blue on the bodywork has yellowed with age, but the frame clearly remains Azure Blue.

Investment grade 1974 Ducati 750SS green frame

If you are interested in buying an investment grade 1974 Ducati 750SS green frame then give us a call at The Motorcycle Broker. There are numerous fakes out there, many motorcycles sharing exactly the same engine and chassis numbers. Then there’s the choice of how original do you want your green frame to be, do you just want one with the correct engine and chassis numbers? There are numerous unique parts to the green frame which add masses of value over just the correct engine and chassis numbers. Do you care whether or not it runs, if it runs well, are you going to ride it or not? All of these issues are just some of the ingredients that have a profound effect on future values. At The Motorcycle Broker, we address all of these issues before we even start looking for a machine, so we need to know your budget, your expectations and how you want go go about buying an investment grade 1974 Ducati 750SS green frame. That way we can find the correct machine for you rather than trying to move metal regardless of the quality. 

    Paul Jayson

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