1966 Velocette 499cc Thruxton
Registration no. KLO 26D
Frame no. RS 18928
Engine no. VMT 389
Velocette, of Hall Green, Birmingham, will always be associated with the sporting British 'single' and with the production of motorcycles shaped by decades of experience in competition at the top level. Post-WW2, the company phased out its ohc models, the pushrod motor developed for their touring models being capable of greater development. So great was that potential that the range was headed by the superb 38 bhp 'Venom' single of the 'sixties. Perhaps surprisingly, the 'Venom' came to be put in the shade by the final development of the firm, their swansong, the 1965-71 'Thruxton'. To counter the then BSA domination of clubman racing, the company had re-engineered the 'Venom' to become the 'Venom Thruxton'. Based around new, strengthened, heat-treated crankcases, the 'VMT' engine, to all intents and purposes a new unit, was given an advanced, downdraught, large-valve cylinder-head. The unit, effectively race-tuned, and with careful assembly, produced well over 40 bhp. The 'Venom' chassis needed little major improvement but acquired clip-on 'bars and rear-set footrests as standard, a distinctive tank and finish and a close-ratio 'box, though the tool-box had been re-cycled from the factory's considerable, redundant 'Valiant' parts-bin. Having little lock and requiring a careful starting technique, the 'Thruxton' was certainly not a shopping machine but, given a first-class rider and some open, preferably twisty, road, it remains arguably the finest 'single' ever, rated as such in a recent road-test in the French 'Moto Legende' magazine. The 'Thruxton' in competition was brilliant right from the start, winning the first IOM Production TT in 1967 and with only 1100 or so made, has always been a rare and highly desirable machine.
KLO 26D is a genuinely two-owner machine. The vendor, a motor-industry engineer, found the, by then long disused but un-touched, 'Thruxton' in 1983 while working in the USA, bought it from the original owner and shipped it back to Birmingham. Here, it was treated to a mechanical and cosmetic overhaul, during which the mudguards were replaced. The only other modification was the replacement of the original 'clocks' which had been stolen from the vendor's garage. Registered for the first time in England in 1984, the 'Thruxton' has proved to be an exemplary machine and is being sold only because of advancing years. It is complete with a V5C and old MOT, DVLA and other papers including full USA documentation and history. Photographs of the machine as found and of the rebuild are also included, as are spares and the original mudguards. Genuinely un-spoiled and to all intents and purposes un-modified, this 'Thruxton', Velocette's most famous product, is absolutely authentic making it a wise purchase for the Velocette connoisseur.
- Gearbox No: 12-12054
The machine is now accompanied by a dating certificate from the Velocette Thruxton Machine Register confirming it is a matching engine and frame number example, that it was dispatched by the factory on the 7th July 1966 to Steven's of London and the first owner was Mr A F Jones of Sussex who purchased the motorcycle on 21 July 1966.
Documents which have come to light since cataloguing include further American shipping papers and a history of the machine written by the original (and only previous) owner, as confirmed by Velocette Factory records.
KLO 26D is the machines' original Sussex registration number, reallocated to the machine in 1984 on return to the U.K.
A 1989 MOT certificate accompanies the machine, recording the mileage (just before the clocks were stolen) as 5,048 miles. Given the very limited mileage since then, there is a strong probability, according to the vendor, that KLO 26D has covered fewer than 8,000 miles from new.