Bonhams Pioneer, Vintage
& Classic Motorcycle Auctions

Bonhams Motorcycle Department


Date Published:
22 Apr 2018
New Jersey, United States

• 1953 MAC frame; 1957 Venom engine • Professionally restored in 2016/2017 • Unique specification • Test mileage only since completion Introduced in 1956, the Venom sports roadster was derived from the touring MSS. The latter had disappeared from the range in 1948, re-appearing in 1954 with a new swinging-arm frame and telescopic fork. The engine too was up-dated, changing to 'square' bore and stroke dimensions of 86x86mm and gaining an alloy cylinder barrel and head. Engine development pursued as part of the scrambles programme bore fruit in 1956 in the shape of the high-performance Venom and its 350cc sibling, the Viper. The MSS frame and forks were retained for the newcomers, while full-width alloy hubs were adopted to boost braking power and smart chromed mudguards fitted to enhance the models' sporting image. Produced until the end of Velocette production in 1971, the Venom represents the final glorious flowering of the traditional British sports single, and today these supremely well engineered thoroughbreds are highly sought after. The handsome Velocette Special offered here consists of a swinging-arm frame, almost certainly that of a 350 MAC as that was the only model with such a frame in 1953, while the engine is that of a 499cc Venom dating from circa 1957. '468 YUY' has been fully restored by Roger Banks, an experienced restorer with over 100 restorations to his credit. The machine was completely stripped to bare metal and all engine parts vapour blasted. The engine was then rebuilt with an Omega 9.0:1 piston; fully ported and gas-flowed cylinder head; Lucas electronic ignition; Amal TT carburettor and many Thruxton parts. Other noteworthy features include alloy wheel rims; stainless steel spokes; new tyres; large-capacity steel fuel tank; large-capacity oil tank; Thruxton-style seat; BSA/Triumph double damped forks; and BSA/Triumph twin-leading-shoe front brake. Finished to a very high standard, this handsome sports roadster has covered only test mileage only since completion and is presented in commensurately excellent condition.