Introduction to the Velocette singles
Introduction to the Velocette singles
The origin of the single cylinder push rod models can be traced back to 1933. At that time, there was a need for an economically-priced four stroke to bridge the gap between the somewhat utilitarian two-stroke and the high performance ohc models which at that time constituted the Company's range. The new 250cc model, known as the MOV, was an instant success and soon a 350cc version was added, to be followed later by 500cc model that used quite different cycle parts. It is alleged the 350cc model, catalogued as the MAC, was the most profitable machine ever made by Veloce Limited. This is because it used the majority of parts employed in the construction of the same MOV model, but could be sold at a higher price due to the increase capacity size of the engine.
All three 'M' series models continued in production until the end of the 1948, interrupted only by the war years. Even then, a special version of the MAC model (designated the MAF) was produced of the armed forces. It was for the 1948 season that all three models featured telescopic front forks for the first time, since the Webb girder forks originally specified were no longer in production. In their place, Dowty Oleomatic forks were substituted, an unusual design that relied upon air as the suspension medium and not springs.
1949 should have marked the end of the 'M' series, but production delays with the new LE model that was to have been mass produced by the Company dictated that the MAC should remain in production. Eventually it became apparent that extensive redesign would be necessary if t as to remain competitive when sold alongside many of the newer designs that were being offered by other manufacturers. In 1951, Veloce's own telescopic fork replaced the bought-in Dowty units and in 1952 an entirely new all-alloy engine replace the power unit that had been used virtually unchanged for the past 18 years. A further change occurred during 1953, when the new engine was fitted into a swinging arm frame, together with a restyled gearbox.
Now that the Company was getting back into its stride, there as again a need for a 500cc model, and the old MSS model was re-introduced, albeit with and entirely new all-alloy engine that differed in man respects from the earlier version. It was housed in the swinging arm frame that had already seen successful use with the MAC model. The new MSS engine had revised bore and stroke measurements and embodied a number of features from the racing models, including hairpin valve springs. It was this interest in competition events, having withdraw their active support from road racing events at h an earlier date. In due course a 500cc scrambles model emerged and this in turn led to the highly successful Viper and Venom sports models that formed the backbone of he Velocette range throughout the late fifties and the sixties. The ultimate was the Thruxton model,, a highly equipped with lighting and silencer.
Perhaps the most memorable feat was the 24 hour record achieved by a team of Velocette riders at Montlehery, in France. on this occasion a 500cc single averaged over 100 mph of 24 ours, to establish another record for British motor cycles that has yet to be broken by a machine of similar capacity. It was therefore with great sadness that the Company announced they had no option other than to go into voluntary liquidation during the early part of 1971, thus bringing to a close one of Britain's most revered names in the motor cycle industry. Fortunately, the names lives on, largely through the efforts of the Velocette Owners Club and those who appreciate the very best in thoroughbred motor cycles.