It looks like former Formula 1 champ Nigel Mansell is clearing out his garage.
His 1989 Ducati 906 Paso is going to be auctioned off by Silverstone Auctions on January 12th, 2019 at the Birmingham (England) Racing Car Show.
Auction items often have a higher value when they have an interesting provenance, or history. And Mansell’s Paso has one.
The story goes that Mansell was in his first year as a driver for Ferrari’s F1 team in 1989 when he stopped by a motorcycle shop in Maranello, Italy, which is home to Ferrari’s HQ.
He apparently admired the bike in the shop corner and then moved on. It was a 906 Paso.
Ferrari, who can be very generous to their drivers when they’re in favor, took note. Three weeks later, with no forewarning, a brand new Paso was delivered to his home. (The same thing happened to Mansell when he admired a Testarossa in Ferrari’s parking lot. One week later and suddenly a Testarossa was delivered to his driveway.)
The Paso, which is also a piece of Ducati history, bears Mansell’s signature on the rear bodywork.
The bike represents Ducati’s first attempt to seriously tackle Japanese imports and is the first water-cooled machine in Ductati’s history. That it met with tepid sales might even make it more attractive, if it increases its rarity.
This Paso was registered to Mansell in the Isle of Man. It only has 22,000 kms on it, and comes with full records documenting ownership, plus a page from Mansell’s autobiography which mentions the Ducati.
“Another time, I admired a Ducati motorbike which was parked at the factory, and three weeks later an identical bike arrived at my home”.