2022 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction

1965 Velocette Venom 'Thruxton Replica' 500cc Motorcycle




Engine Single-cylinder, 500cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Colour Black
Trim Black
Wheels Wire-spoked
Brakes Drums

Notice (Form 11)


This lot is no longer available

Velocette motorcycles were made by Veloce Ltd, in Hall Green, Birmingham, England. Velocette was a small, family-owned firm, selling almost as many hand-built motorcycles during its lifetime, as the mass-produced machines of the giant BSA and Norton concerns. Renowned for the quality of its products, the company was "always in the picture" in international motorcycle racing, from the mid-1920s through the 1950s, culminating in two World Championship titles (1949–1950 350 cc) and its legendary and still-unbeaten record (for single-cylinder, 500 cc machines) over 24 hours at over 100 mph (161 km/h). Velocette, while small, was a great technical innovator and many of its patented designs are commonplace on motorcycles today, including the positive-stop foot shift and swinging arm rear suspension with hydraulic dampers. The Venom and Viper series Velocettes can be traced back to 1955, the two models being of 500cc and 350cc respectively. The Venom was also offered in Clubman configuration, with a four-gallon tank, and from this the legendary Thruxton was developed by Reg Orpin. Named after the success achieved in the 24-Hour race at the circuit, the Thruxton was introduced at the 1964 Earls Court Show and was a super-tuned sports model based on a Clubman specification engine and gearbox with a close-ratio TT gearbox. In turn, updated Mark II Venom and Viper Clubmans were introduced in 1966 with many Thruxton features. The final victory for this famous old name came in the 1967 Production TT when local Neil Kelly won on an MSS. Sadly, Velocette was in serious decline by the late 1960s and the company went into liquidation on the 4th of February, 1971. Production was already dwindling when the bike on offer was made and just 5,721 Venoms ultimately left the Birmingham works, making this a very rare machine indeed.