1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C

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Lot 190
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton
Frame no. VMT1084C

Sold for US$ 28,750 inc. premium
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton
Frame no. VMT1084C

• 1 of 1,108 units produced
• Spotless restoration

As a family owned motorcycle manufacturer for nearly three quarters of a century, they had a lot to be proud of. Starting out as one of the pioneer manufacturers, mating a Belgium-made Kelecom engine to their chassis under the Veloce name, the company progressed through the decades producing innovative and well-made motorcycles. The brightest engineers in the industry passed through their works over the years, contributing to their world renowned reputation. As a small company, they took on the big guns of motorcycle racing, often winning over those odds. However in the late 1960's and early 1970's, much of England's once mighty motorcycle industry was on the ropes with many casualties. Velocette also was lost to the world in 1971, but not before providing one last outstanding thoroughbred motorcycle to the world of classic machines to be remembered.

The final evolution of the Velocette motor came in the M-series, with a 500cc MSS in 1954. The MSS was a newly designed single cylinder motor using pushrods for overhead valve actuation. The series also included a 250cc and a 350cc variant that were already in production. The new road bike was housed in Velocette's spring frame, an innovation that was the first swingarm suspension with hydraulic rear dampers in the industry. Another first was the adjustable rear shocks. This reliable and roadworthy motorcycle was soon joined by a sporting version named the Venom in 1956, probably as a response to the BSA Goldstar which was mopping up the clubman races across the UK. The engine featured a high camshaft with short duralumin pushrods, enclosed valve gear and hairpin springs, a Wellworthy Al-Fin cylinder and light alloy cylinder head and Timken tapered roller main bearings on the pressed together crankshaft. The Venom engine produced 36 bhp with 102 mph top speed, close to the fabulous Goldstar. The last configuration came in 1964 with the Venom Thruxton, or just Thruxton as most enthusiasts refer to the bike. Named for the Thruxton 500 mile race win, this performance version of the Venom came with Clubman goodies such as rear set foot controls, clip on handle bars, alloy wheel rims and twin leading shoe front brakes. The specially tuned head had different valves while the engine featured short one piece pushrods and an Amal GP carburetor. The carb was secured to an extended intake manifold that required a distinctive cutout in the rear of the gas tank. The Thruxton produced 41 bhp and could attain 110 mph.

The 1969 Velocette Thruxton being offered for sale represents the most memorable machine from Velocette's list of road going motorcycles and one of only 1108 units produced. The restoration is spotless and features a fresh finish in silver for the gas tank and a dark blue frame and forks, standard colors for the Thruxton. Velocette's traditional black livery was an option for the Thruxton, and some machines were repainted in the latter color by owner preference. The gearbox has the close ratio gear set with 4 speeds in a reverse quick shift pattern from the regular road machines. When a bystander listens to an oncoming Thruxton, they don't hear a growl, a multi-cylinder wail or senseless racket...they hear the unforgettable bark emanating from the Thruxon's signature fishtail muffler. Velocette may be gone now but left us with this lasting memory from clubman racing in days past.

Saleroom notices

  • The engine no. is VMT1084C and the frame no. is RS20030. Since going to press it has come to light from the factory records that this lots matching engine and transmission have been installed in a different, but correct 1969 Velocette Thruxton frame. Please note the revised auction estimates are $25,000-$28,000.
Contacts
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C
1969 Velocette 500cc Venom Thruxton Frame no. VMT1084C
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