Italy is home to a plethora of small three-wheeled delivery vehicles of which the Piaggio/Vespa Ape (Bee) is by far the best known, the Bee entered production in 1948 and is still being produced! Most motorcycle manufacturers had one or more in their ranges and Ducati was no exception.
In 1957 the company introduced the Muletto which was powered by a 175 cc OHV four-stroke motor that used many parts from the earlier Cruiser scooter. The following year the motor was enlarged to 200 cc. This had a carrying capacity of 350 kg and a top speed of 60 km/h. The gearbox had four forward ratios plus reverse. The 1958 model is what you see here.
Versions were available with open, partially and fully enclosed cabs. The Muletto was not a big seller and was only produced for two years. However a new version was planned and reached engine prototype stage before being abandoned. I was able to photograph this at the factory in 2007.
The red stripe was a government requirement for transport/for-hire vehicles.
Ducati returned to the three-wheel market with the Fatterino which was produced from 1962 until 1965 and used a 48 cc two-stroke engine that was equipped with a fan attached to the crankshaft which forced air into an alloy shroud that covered the barrel and cylinder head. A three-speed gearbox was used. Again three cab configurations were available.
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