1959 Velocette 499cc Venom
Registration no. CSU 332
Frame no. RS12502
Engine no. VM2006
Introduced in 1956, the Venom sports roadster was derived from the touring MSS. The latter had disappeared from the range in 1948, reappearing in 1954 with a new swinging-arm frame and telescopic fork. The engine too was up-dated, changing to 'square' bore and stroke dimensions of 86x86mm and gaining an alloy cylinder barrel and 'head. Engine development pursued as part of the scrambles programme bore fruit in 1956 in the shape of the high-performance Venom and its 350cc sibling, the Viper. The MSS frame and forks were retained for the newcomers but full-width alloy hubs were adopted to boost braking power, and smart chromed mudguards fitted to enhance the models' sporting image. In 1960 'Clubman' versions of both were introduced, minus the enclosure panels of the standard models, which featured a raised compression ratio, Amal TT carburettor, 'racing' magneto, rear-set footrests and a close-ratio gearbox among many other improvements. When supplied with the optional dolphin fairing, the model was known as the Clubman Veeline. Produced until the end of Velocette production in 1971, the Venom in its various guises represents the final glorious flowering of the traditional British sports single, and today these supremely well-engineered thoroughbreds are highly sought after.
The current vendor purchased this Venom at Bonhams' Stafford sale in April 2009 (Lot 377, invoice on file) at which time it was said to have been in the elderly owner's hands since 2001, displaying a believed-genuine 43,620 miles on the odometer. Since acquisition the machine has been used occasionally but not since 2011, and should require only gentle re-commissioning. Restored in 2003, 'CSU 332' is described as in generally good condition mechanically with very good frame, cycle parts and brightwork. The machine is offered with sundry invoices, a quantity of expired tax discs and MoT certificates, and old/current Swansea V5/V5C documents. It is expected to possess a fresh MoT certificate at time of sale. The flanged alloy wheel rims and Amal Concentric carburettor are obvious deviations from standard specification.
- The frame number is obscured by the tank bracket.