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The Spring Sale / 1932 Velocette 348cc KTT MkIV Racing Motorcycle Frame no. TT4259 Engine no. KTT426

Lot 498
1932 Velocette 348cc KTT MkIV Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. TT4259 Engine no. KTT426
23 April 2022, 10:00 BST
Stafford, Staffordshire County Showground

Sold for £34,500 inc. premium

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1932 Velocette 348cc KTT MkIV Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. TT4259
Engine no. KTT426

• One of approximately 148 MkIV KTTs made
• Matching frame and engine
• Present ownership since 2016

By the early 1920s it had become apparent that Veloce needed a model more up-market than its Velocette two-stroke. Other manufacturers were fielding new overhead-valve and overhead-camshaft machines, and Veloce followed suit, the Percy Goodman-designed, overhead-cam Model K appearing in 1924. Of 348cc, the new engine employed a single overhead camshaft driven by a vertical shaft, and was unusual in having a very narrow crankcase, an arrangement determined by the existing transmission and frame design, but which made for a stiff crankshaft assembly. Entered in the 1925 Isle of Man TT, the model K did not fare well, all three entries retiring because of lubrication problems. Its engine redesigned to incorporate dry-sump oiling, the cammy Velo returned the following year to score a memorable victory, Alec Bennett romping home in the Junior race ten minutes ahead of the next rider! Second place in 1927 followed by another win for Bennett in '28 ensured a healthy demand for Velocette's overhead-cam roadsters and prompted the launch of the KTT. One of the most successful over-the-counter racers of all time, the KTT debuted at the 1928 Olympia Show where it was hailed as an 'exact replica' of Bennett's 1928 works bike, though in fact the production MkI KTT incorporated a number of improvements.

The KTT would be regularly up-dated with improvements first tried on the works bikes, and the major change for the MkIV was the introduction of a four-speed gearbox with Willis positive-stop foot-change, together with a new cylinder head incorporating hairpin valve springs and a more-compact scavenge pump. Redesigning the latter enabled the spark plug - now a 14mm type - to be relocated for improved combustion. The cycle parts too had come in for revision, the frame's tank rails being lowered to accommodate a larger fuel tank and, later in 1932, a rear sub-frame being added beneath the engine and gearbox. Part way through production the MkIV benefited from another works experiment, the cylinder head material changing to bronze as a result of overheating experienced on Willis' blown racer 'Whiffling Clara' when the standard cast-iron 'head was used. Production of the MkIV ceased in October 1934 on the introduction of the MkV after around 148 machines had been made.

According to Velocette authority Ivan Rhodes, 'KTT426' was invoiced on 8th July 1932 to Motorcycles Ltd London and sold to a Mr Cackman (or Lackman) of London E7 (letter non file). The current vendor purchased the KTT from Steve Griffith's Racing & Investment Motorcycles in June 2016 (receipt on file). A very valuable spare large-capacity fuel tank is included in the sale.
Offered without key


All lots are sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding

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