Museum Velocette goes to auction

1966 Velocette Thruxton

This 1966 Velocette Thruxton will leave the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham where it has been on display and go to the H&H Classics Donington Park Auction on July 28, 2016. 

The Velocette was the last great British single, outlasting other British marques by almost a decade. The Velocette Thruxton lived long enough to race against the first of the modern Japanese superbikes. But in 1971 Velocette shut down its Hall Green, Birmingham factory and quietly went out of business. 

Estimated at between £10,000-£12,000 this great survivor of a time when British motorcycles raced successfully, is being put to auction with “no reserve”. 

H&H head of motorcycles Mark Bryan says: “It is super rare to find a bike in this condition, which is not even on the Velocette Owners Club register. This motorcycle is a very real and rare discovery.”

The bike is in original condition with original rego plate MPG502D. It has had two owners from new and has been in storage since the 1970s and will require re-commissioning.

The Thruxton was a true factory-built cafe racer. Its immediate predecessor, the Venom, had already made a good name for itself in performance circles despite running an antiquated 500cc pushrod motor. In 1961 a works-supported team of riders set the world 24-hour speed record, and in ’64 another Venom took a class win at the Thruxton 500-mile endurance race, crown jewel of England’s popular and hotly contested Production roadracing series. 

1966 Velocette Thruxton
1966 Velocette Thruxton

That victory gave Velocette a great excuse to hot-rod the Venom and make the resulting 1965 Thruxton an even better race bike.

The engine was upgraded with a flowed cylinder head, bigger valves and a downdraft intake tract. Working through a close-ratio gearbox, the Thruxton put out 40-41 horsepower.

It did not take long for success to find the Thruxton. Another class win in the 1965 500-miler made for a great debut, and in ’67 a pair of Thruxtons finished 1-2 in the inaugural running of the Production TT at the Isle of Man. Before production ceased, Velocette made approximately 1100 Thruxtons.

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