1960 Velocette Venom Frame no. RS15102 Engine no. VM4481
Lot 397
1960 Velocette Venom
Frame no. RS15102 Engine no. VM4481
US$ 15,000 - 18,000
£8,900 - 11,000
Lot Details
1960 Velocette Venom
Frame no. RS15102
Engine no. VM4481
The Hall Green, Birmingham, England company introduced in late 1955 the Velocette Venom sports roadster that was derived from the earlier touring MSS. The latter disappeared from the range in 1948, reappearing in 1954 with a new swinging-arm frame and telescopic fork. The 499cc engine, conceived by Veloce's Eugene Goodman and designed by Charles Udall, too was up-dated, changing to "square" bore and stroke dimensions of 86x86mm and gaining an alloy cylinder barrel and head, the engine's development pursued as part of the British off-road racing "scrambles" program. It bore fruit in 1956 in the shape of the higher-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. Produced until the end of Velocette production in 1971 - a total of 5,721 units were built - 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 1961, a Venom set the 24-hour world record at a speed of 100.05mph, the first motorcycle of any capacity to achieve such an average speed for 24 hours. In 1964 the Thruxton with a race specification cylinder head that was gas flowed by hand to accommodate extra-large valves and a downdraught inlet port was shown at the Earls Court, London show. It was a very popular and successful clubman racer but it could not save Veloce. Poor sales forced the company into voluntarily liquidation in 1971.

This example is described by the seller as an "original Venom imported from England", meaning that it has not been restored. Its previous history is not known although it clearly has been well looked after but the bike will likely require light but careful re-commissioning before being enjoyed again for the thoroughbred that it is.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the title for this motorcycle is in transit.
  1. Nick Smith
    Specialist - Motorcycles
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    United States
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