The Ducati Scrambler Project: The Claudia Model (one of the Seven Sisters Series). This Ducati Scrambler is considered the most important piece at Officine Di Matteo, because of it’s history that directly involves the Owner’s Family. Although the high requests we recieve about, this Motorbike is not for sale.
History and Owners
Claudia is the first Ducati Scrambler ever connected to Officine Di Matteo and it’s where it all began. Registrated as “Roma 321235″ ni 1972 with as a Telaio Number 354503, was originally bought by Dottor Armando Maggiori, in date 31/12/2972 in Velletri (Rome) from Luciano Sambucci motors.
In date Juy 10 1975 the motorbike, in a perfect state was sold for 200.000 Lire (about nowadays 100,00 EUR) to a new happy buyer, Mr. Claudio Di Matteo, a man who run a polster company “Fratelli Di Matteo” (Di Matteo’s Brothers, Claudio and Marcello) in the navy italian industry. The Ducati Scrambler was used at first during the weekend trips for the first years of possession. At 1977 Claudio’s firs son, Fabio was given birth and Claudio decieded not tu run the Scrambler anymore. The Ducati Scrambler was covered with a special plastic transparent envelopement and stored in a backgarden, protected from the sunrays, until year 1999, when a friend of Mr. Claudio Di Matteo, named Franco Flavoni, saw the motorbike and started pressing for Claudio to sell it to him.
Although the bike was in a good state, Claudio decided to sell it to his friend, who would have better took care of the precious model. The bike was sold for just 1.000.000 Lire (about 500,00 EUR). The small price was due to the fact that the bike had a good state, but a bad documents situation.
In those years a particular law was operative: after 5 years of non paied government taxes, the vehicle would have been ereased from the state vehicle registration databases, making impossible for the Ducati Scrambler to run on the road again with the same registration number.
After 5 years a new registration number would have been necessary. This also meant that the motorbike should have followed the new rules about re-introduction to a new registration, like to add extra arrow safety lights, which would have drammatically changed the motorbike look, loosing it’s original shape.
The new owner, Franco Flavoni, as the motorbike was completely unusable on the road, thought of keeping it without using it, except from turning the engine on every few months. He also decieded not to apply for a new registration, thinking that would have been better to keep it as it was originally, also if this ment that would have been “jailed” in the garage, where in facts, it stayed until november 2013.
Claudio Di Matteo, although Franco Flavoni bought his Ducati Scrambler, decieded not to give him the plastic registration number, due to no real appearent reason. The registration, RM 321235 has been lost in the family backgarden garage.
In march 2005, Claudio Di Matteo died at the age of 62.
On November 13 2013, Fabio Di Matteo, Claudio Di Matteo’s son, who was already in the Ducati Scrambler recovery industry, decided to try to rescue the motorbike, starting a very long number of phone calls to reconstruct the owners path. Claudio’s Family had no idea about the name of Claudio’s Friend, and all chanches to find his name were in appearence gone since Claudio had passed away.
Finally, with the help of a friend family Lawyer Giuseppe Marzano, he found the contact of the man his father sold the Ducati to.
Fabio contacted immediatly Mr. Flavoni, hoping that he still had the original motorbike. The chanches to find the Ducati Scrambler “alive” were very few. Normally, over 12 years of time, the chanches of having the motorbike sold again from Mr. Flavoni to somebody else, were very high.
Also, Fabio knew from his father storytelling that Mr. Flavoni had already other Ducati Scrambler Bikes in his garage. Fabio was aware of the risk that Mr. Flavoni had bought his father’s bike to use it’s parts to reconstruct his personal bikes, so the chanches of finding the Old Family Scrambler intact, were very very few.
What better way to find out than calling Mr. Franco Flavoni?
F.F.: “I still have it. It’s in my garage, and it is exactly like your father gave it to me. Not a single change has been applied to the bike since i got it.”
F.D.M.: “Wow, that’s incredible. Are you interested in selling it back to me?”
F.F.: “Yes, I think i could. I have got 2 other Ducati Scrambler so i think I can let it go, but there is a problem. The bike has no registration number, no documents, and it’s been kicked out of the government registration database, so it’s not usable. It works. I turn it on often. The engine is perfect. Your father, gave it to me, but when I went in his house to load id on my lorry it had no registration on it and no document were available for me. Your father had took the registration off, and he would not tell me the reason. And also, there is another big problem… I promised it to another person in August, but he has not come to pick it up yet”.
F.D.M.: “August? Could you not consider it too late to come to pick it up? Come on, sell it to me! It’s my daddy’s!”
F.F.: “I’m a person of honour, and I cannot behave differently from what I have promised. So I cannot sell it to you untill I get in touch with this person who told me he was interested”.
F.D.M.: “Please, it’s my father’s bike and you knew him very well. Don’t let it go anywhere else”.
F.F.: “I told you, i cannot do it. Let me contact this person and I will see what’s the story”.
F.D.M.: “But anyway, in case you could sell it to me, what would be the selling price?”.
F.F.: “I think i could give it to you for 1.500,00 EUR”.
So that’s the end of the phone calls. Two main things should have been considered.
1) the price was completely undervalued, because even though the bike was out of the office database, the famous italian law that would consider the bike unusable had changed in 2008. Now, would have been very simple to go to the governement office to re-activate the original registration number, keeping it alive as it was before having been been erased due to no tax payed. The market price for a Ducati Scrambler loaded with original pieces in every part of it’s body is about 7.000,00 EUR if in good state. I well remember the bike. It was simply perfect, a part from one detail: our dog, Tom, had distroyed the rubber from the one of the pedals, bite after bite. Small detail that could have been fixed without problems.
2) if the other interested buyer would have known this, or if he was really interested to the Scrambler, the bike would have disapeared again from Fabio’s life right in the moment he was so close to it.
Three long days passed by, and 2 different phone calls to Mr. Flavoni were made. No news.
That’s when Lawyer Giuseppe Marzano came to help Fabio. He phoned his friend Mr. Flavoni, and convinced him to skip the other seller.
On November 16 2013 the final phonecall:
F.D.M.: “Mr. Flavoni?”
F.F.: “Yes, it’s yours! Come tomorrow to pick it up”.
F.D.M.: “Perfect, see you tomorrow. Do you accept a cheque?”
The deal was done.
Sunday 17 november 2013 – The Recovery
Fabio Di Matteo, Mr. Roberto De Santis, and Gianni loaded long ropes on the pickup and drove up to Monteverde area in Rome (Viale Trastevere) to recovery THE BIKE, and finally parked the van in front of Mr. Flavoni’ garage. There it was, resting beside other old fashion motorbikes from every part of the world belonging to Mr. Flavoni. The only one without registration number on it was Claudio’s Bike. The bike was then brougth in Gianni’s Van and shipped to the Roberto De Santis’s garage for a detailed checkup and some ritual pictures. The following shot is about Gianni opening the Van.
The following pictures show the state of the Ducati Scrambler after over 40 years of life. The Bike was not in perfect state. The years have contributed to it’s rusty process. As you can see, the bike was secured in the Van during the transportation with strong ropes. The oil tank Cap was covered with superficial Rust. The most important thing was to recover the original Daddy’s Scrambler. It was time now to bring it back alive!
To be continued…