1956 Velocette 499cc Venom
Registration no. WHY 283
Frame no. RS7849
Engine no. VM1058
Introduced in 1956, the Venom sports roadster was derived from the touring MSS. The latter disappeared from the range in 1948, reappearing in 1954 with a new swinging-arm frame and telescopic fork. The engine too was updated, changing to 'square' bore and stroke dimensions of 86x86mm, which permitted higher revs and potentially greater power, as well as gaining an alloy cylinder barrel and 'head. In the autumn of 1955 engine development pursued as part of the scrambles programme bore fruit in the shape of the high-performance Venom and its 350cc sibling, the Viper, which were launched at that year's Motorcycle Show. 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. Produced until the end of Velocette production in 1971, the Venom represents the final glorious flowering of the traditional British sports single, and today these supremely well-engineered thoroughbreds are highly sought after.
In his book, 'Velocette Technical Excellence Exemplified', marque authority Ivan Rhodes records that Venom production commenced in December 1955 with frame number '7623'/engine number '1001', which makes the example offered here one of the very first to leave the factory. It is also worth noting that 'WHY 283' is finished in the Dove Grey colour scheme employed for these early models. Acquired by the present owner's father in 1976, the machine is offered with old-style continuation logbook (issued 1975), two expired MoTs (most recent 1977) and old/current Swansea V5/V5C registration documents.