Velocette Since 1950


Velocette Since 1950: The Big Singles
By Steve Wilson

Velocette is one of the legendary British motorcycle manufacturers. In their day few other machines of the period could go as fast for as long, or handle as well as a big Velocette single. It is a Velocette that holds the distinction of being the first bike to achieve 100 mph for 24 hours. This book provides detailed information on all of the large singles produced and how they changed over the years. It also gives a comprehensive description of the history of the company from 1950 until final closure in 1970. This is a fascinating and definitive account of Velocette which will interest all those who love old British bikes and one which no Velocette owner should be without.

Velocette Since 1950: The Big Singles is reprinted, with permission, from an earlier work by Steve Wilson, British Motorcycles since 1950 first published in 1992 by Patrick Stephens Ltd an imprint of Haynes Publishing Company, and now out of print.

Steve Wilson is the author of British Motor Cycles since 1950, a six volume survey of British Motorcycles and also many other titles about classic bikes and the pleasure to be had from riding them. Steve is a full time journalist writing about classic bikes and cars and has a regular column in Real Classics. When he is not writing about classic bikes he is most likely to be found riding one of his BSAs.

  • Velocette Ltd
  • MAC 350, 'new' MSS, Venom, Viper and Thruxton Venom singles
  • Production dates
  • Specifications, MAC, Viper, 1954 on MSS, Venom, Thruxton
  • Engine and frame numbers
  • Colour schemes
  • Publications
  • Appendix: Owners Clubs and Spares


Designed and published in 2004 by Panther Publishing Ltd.

Velocette is one of the truly celebrated British motorcycle manufacturers (although like many, it's true origins are slightly more Germanic than many realise…!). Based on a remarkably low manufacturing output of typically several hundred bikes in a year, Velocette have always managed to maintain a particularly enthusiastic following. This following is not only willing to accept the bike's generic idiosyncrasies and faults, but one that openly welcomes them and sees them as part of the bike's attraction. Although, of course, there are many who prefer the more easily acquired tastes offered by the bikes of other manufacturers. For me certainly, Velocettes have always been surrounded by a certain mystique, and I found this book to be a very useful insight into the make. The book very clearly describes all of the Velocette bikes manufactured since 1950, but also provides a very readable history of the marque from the birth of their first bike in 1904.

It clearly describes the development of all of the later models from the humble LE to the stylish and powerful Thruxton, as well a detailed description of the history of the company through to its final days in 1970.

This book is written by Steve Wilson; a name many of you may recognise from his writings in the Classic Bike Guide Magazine and, more recently, in the Real Classic journal. It was originally published as part of a larger book, British Motorcycles Since 1950, which is now out of print.

The book is very factual and is really a must if you are lucky enough to be an owner of one of the bikes covered in this book.

I have never owned or ridden a Velocette, but have always found them attractive and somewhat intriguing. Reading this book has made me even more determined to go out and find one…… (Stop press - have now bought a 1939 MAC!)

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Velocette Since 1950

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