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Homepage. This page: A classic British 500cc motorcycle - the single cylinder Velo'.

A Venom built in 1960.

Velocette Venom motorcycle
Chris kindly sent over this photograph, which shows an Austin A55 Cambridge, with a smart 500cc Velocette motorcycle (registration 477 BAF) in the foreground:
"I was pleased to read of your fond memories of old motorbikes, particularly British ones so I attach a picture, to use if you wish, of a 1960 500cc Velocette Venom Clubman [is it definitely a Clubman? that model had a different exhaust downpipe, plus a tachometer. Rick] I had. Taken by one of my parents in about 1964, the subjects were the kids (their grandchildren) and not my bike. It was my only transport at the time, being used daily for work (a round trip of over 20 miles) summer and winter, and at weekends to go to scrambles and road races with mates, or runs into the Lake District with my girlfriend (now wife) on the back.
Eventually I got a car and got married, and this faithful old steed was left to deteriorate in the garage, unloved and uncared for. Four years later I sold it for 10 pounds. In the background is my father's grey A55 Cambridge."
I was particularly interested to see this picture, as my own Uncle had a '59 Venom Clubman from 1975 to 2011, and is now in my own collection. Although complete and mostly restored, it isn't quite on the road as yet.
The Velocette company can trace its roots back to 1905, when the company was formed under the name of Veloce, initially producing 4 stroke single cylinder machines. In 1913 the company was renamed Velocette, and they began production of a 2 stroke model. The 4 bangers would appear in the following decade, but no more changes to the name were made. The Venom arrived in the late 1950s, and echoed Velocette's belief that they could produce a superior single that would be more than a match for the large displacement twins that many rivals offered. The basic Venom could be propelled to a speed just shy of the magic ton (100mph), and the improved Clubman-spec version could just crack it. Later in the 1960s a Thruxton version of the Venom would be launched, again with a little more oomphh, but it wasn't enough to stop the Velocette plant at Hall Green in Birmingham going under, with the doors finally closing in 1971.
Many enthusiasts seek out and restore the remaining examples of this classic British motorcycle. If you're one of them, this page, which is a compilation of all the Velocette advertisements place on this site, could well be of interest: Velocette parts list. If smaller bikes are your thing, this photo of a Velocette LE may be of interest.
Photographs of other classic bikes can be found dotted around this vintage photographs section of the site, and also in the classic motorcycles pages. There is also a forum for fans of 2 wheelers here. Pre-war photos of a 250cc GTP may be found here.
An interesting story of riding a classic Velocette around Europe in 1964, on a 350cc Velo MAC, can be found on this page.
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