Hedemora plays a huge part in Ducati’s Motorsport history. In 1956, Ducati made its debut with the first ever Ducati 125 Gran Prix powered by a desmodromic engine, the Ducati 125 Desmo Gran Prix.
The race was organized for Sunday 15th July 1956, and it was a non-official 125 Gran Prix cc race for the championship.
There were 24 participants for the race, and Ducati participated with six bikes; the riders were Gianni Degli Antoni from Italy, Bengt Svensson, Ake Ostbolm, Lennart Lindell and Olle Nygren form Sweden and Willi Scheidaured from Germany. After the race, Degli Antoni won the race in a best lap of 3:05:09, in a race that was planned for 15 laps, and Ducati placed five bikes in the first ten places, taken also the second place with Svensson and the third place with Ostblom.
The new creation of Fabio Taglioni immediately showed the power of the desmodromic system. It was the beginning of the desmodromic era for Ducati, destined to perpetuate itself until today.
So that’s why I was making my way towards it from Mantorp. Thanks to all the great advice from the DOC I spent the whole way on back roads riding through forests and not seeing another vehicle for miles. Finally off the highways.
At Hedemora was Tomas my guide to the city and its surroundings. As I got to the city he said there is a spot where all the motorcyclists and Yankee car drivers (yea he calls them Yankee) come and listen to Rock and Roll tunes and show off there cars and bikes. I had seen some muscle cars on the road in the last few days and was pretry eager to see what this was all about so jumped to the opportunity to go see what he was on about. 18 kms from Hedemora we came to a cafe surrounded with old american cars in pristine condition preening and a band on a stage playing old Elvis tunes!!! Only thing missing was the Fonz and his leather jacket. What a mind blowing sight. The Enduro looked like a space ship in comparison.
Next on the cards was a rip around the 7.2km TT track which still exists almost as it was back then. Amazing at how the racers would do 220kmph on these tracks. But riding down it with Tomas giving me bits of info about it was amazing. He was born in a house by the track and remembers the race in 1956 and remembers where he was standing when he saw the Ducatis race by what an honour it was to have him as my guide.
The next morning we walked around the small town of 7000 and went to see a garage owned by 12 friends that they use to build and store there bikes. I have never seen such crazy machines. From ice track racers to machines I have never heard of, to steam engines to lawnmower racers with Ducati Monster engines they had it all and the race them all. Amazing.
Then a short walk to the Hedemora Motorcycle Museam revealed how crazy this little town is about Motorsport and motorcycles. The museum is a two small garages and a basement. The collection here is incredible it includes motorcycles from the whole of the period 1908 -1958 as well as TT vehicles from other eras. A wide range of memorabilia and curiosities connected with motorbikes is on display. (Guess who got his hands on some).
It seems every third person has a little cache of 8-9 motorcycles at home here. We met quite a few walking around and in conversation it would kinda come up.
What a mad little town. If you are in any way close to it don’t be a fool stop and see what it has to offer.
Tomas has convinced me to stay another day so we can go riding around the lakes and have a beer at the garage with the rest of his mad motorcyclist buddies. I think that is just what I am going to do.