Vicki Smith and Ric Lambrechts – Keepers of the Flame
Have you ever been in the presence of really special people? People who have an intangible quality about them—a quality that you want to bottle, if only you knew what it was.
I met two of the most significant people in the world of Ducati today. Vicki Smith and Rich Lambrechts are amazing collectors of Ducati, however, they are so much more than that.
Rich is an engineer and designer who turned his talents to vintage Ducati motorcycle restorations. His abilities range from hand metalwork to perfect hand drawn pinstripes and everything in between.
Vicki was a professional racecar driver for almost two decades and subsequently, Ducati motorcycles fit her need for speed perfectly. She developed Ducati ownership enhancement when she developed Ducati.net
Her work with Ducati North America keeps her in the center of the Ducati action worldwide.
Vicki and Rich make a formidable pair with broad complementary skills that range from mechanical to motorcycle events, management and social media.
They are the keepers of the Ducati flame. Vicki has an amazing knowledge of all things, and all people, Ducati. I don’t think there would be anyone who knows Ducati history better.
Rich, the master craftsman has restored and built some of the finest pieces of art I have had the pleasure to photograph. In order to be appreciated, his workmanship has to be savoured. He is the Michelangelo of the Ducati world.
Every brand of significance has those very special few people who not only love and collect the brand, but they are part of the brand’s history, and help keep the brand alive.
Rich and Vicki are carrying the torch for the next generation. The bikes they have rescued and restored are priceless time capsules that pay homage to the artisans who built these masterpieces. Their collection tells the stories of past battles and victories, the gladiators who rode them and the creators of them.
Their collection goes way beyond bikes, to all things Ducati. Who else do you know has Cook Nelson’s Daytona wining trophy (Ducati’s first ever win at the fabled track) in their office? If that doesn’t impress you, I think it’s time to check your pulse.
As I reflect on the day, I feel like I have been with Ducati royalty and they have treated me like a VIP guest with the all-access pass. If there are just a few more amazing people like Vicki and Rich out there in Ducati land then I think the next generation will have many masterpieces to admire and marvel at.