After the end of WW II the Ducati brothers looked to re-establish their ruined factory and unemployed workforce. One avenue they explored was the manufacture of a small car, the DU-4. Only a single prototype was built in 1946 before the growing success of the Cucciolo focused the company’s efforts on two-wheeled transport.
The prototype was sold to Fiat where it remained until 2005 (the bodywork went missing during this period). It was then that long time Ducati enthusiast Italo Forni was able to purchase it. Forni is an ex-Ducati test rider (1973-1977) who also competed for the national team in two ISDTs, riding Ducati 450 R/Ts. He went on to be Italian MX champion several times.
The DU-4 was quite advanced for the time with front-wheel drive, 4-speed gearbox, independent suspension and hydraulic brakes. The steel tube chassis was made by Verlicchi.
Perhaps the car’s most outstanding feature however was the use of a newly designed OHV 254cc V4 engine, in an ‘L’ configuration with the front cylinders nearly horizontal – the same as Ducatis of 25 odd years later!
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.