This was not the first time Veloce Ltd. had had inquiries about supplying a stationary engine. The previous year they were approached by S.P.D Ltd. who made refrigerated vehicles for Birds Eye foods and by Ice Cream Equipment Ltd about the supply of LE based stationary engines for the refrigeration units of their vehicles.
The concept of a stationary engine based on the LE appeared to show some promise, the smooth, quiet running water cooled twin appeared to fulfil a corner of the market and there seemed a demand there.
Veloce Ltd also had considerable expertise by this time, in the small flat twin engine and many common parts and production tooling could be utilised.
At this time motorcycle sales were low and the future of the motorcycle production appeared bleak. The seasonal demand of the motorcycle market caused production and cash flow difficulties and Veloce Ltd were in need of some other product they could make or provide work that could relieve this situation.
So it was decided to go ahead with the Industrial engine project, and by the end of May 1966 the first prototype had been delivered and had undergone a 1000 hour test and proved satisfactory.
Approximately 50 engine units were supplied to A.C. Morrison Ltd., which were fitted into ice cream vans and delivered to a customer in Australia, a creamy type ice cream supplier trading as "Mr. Whippy". They used modified Bedford vans with the refrigeration unit mounted up on the cab in a metal box and the company franchised them to individuals who drove around suburban streets, usually on a weekend playing the tune "Greensleeves" from a loud speaker to attract customers. They also parked outside sporting venues etc.
It seems that in accepting the order for the engines, Veloce Ltd were bound by conditions, one of which was a 12 month guarantee. For the continuous use to which these engines were put, in the ice cream business in sub-tropical climates, this could easily amount to the equivalent of 100,000 road miles for an LE; a ridiculous guarantee life for a 192cc engine.
A successful claim by Morrisons could possibly have caused the earlier demise of Veloce Ltd and the industrial engine saga proved to be very unfortunate after appearing to hold such promise.
Peter Wolfenden, current Aust. Velo OC membership secretary and "Mr LE" in Australia compiled this article and initially published it in the UK LE Owners club magazine, then again in revised format in FTDU (Peter sourced information for this article from “A History of Veloce Ltd.”, by Joseph W.E .Kelly)