Saturday, March 22, 2014

A visit to "Fellside Cottage", the home of Ivan Rhodes...Mr Velocette to so many people worldwide...part 3

Well I thought I'd bring to a close the saga of my visit with Ivan Rhodes in September last year with the two previous posts covering much of what occurred.
For this post we'll spend more time pictorially, won't cover all the stuff I did, but perhaps a post-script post in the future to cover anything left....
The Velocette factory used large folio books to record the details of the motorcycles they built, with the invoiced date, model designation, engine, frame and prewar anyhow the gearbox number. The dealer/agent supplied to and sometimes this was Schoefield Goodman...unrelated to the Goodman family who owned Veloce Ltd, but who were a Birmingham forwarding agent that sent the bikes ordered to Australia, New Zealand etc.
If the name of the original owner was known, then it was often listed with their address.
So let's have a peek at a folio book from 1938...
An enlargement of the lower LH page which covers the MOV model in 1938....The dealer supplied to with the town they were in is visible.
The agreement between Veloce Ltd and Stanley Woods for the 1939 season...drawn up by local solicitors who still handled Veloce's work in the 1960's...
Interesting is the retainers, money wise that Stanley Woods commanded as a rider...
Stanley was to ride for Velocette in 1936...
His retainer with Vacuum oil in 1934 was £1500 for the year...

Velocette's original approach to Stanley Woods in June 1935 asking him to ride for them in 1936....
Ivan spent much time in the last years repairing and restoring where possible all the racing Velocettes badly damaged in the fire at the National Motorcycle museum...illustrated is the crankcases of one engine and the cylinder....
A factory 350 SOHC ,likely 1937 or 1938, racer.....Velocette 350 and 500s can easily be identified by counting the cylinder finds....10 for a 350 and 13 for a 500, although with this example the blue background of the racing number confirms it.


In a frame on the wall of Ivan’s workshop is the note from the Veloce Ltd liquidator informing employees that the main gates are locked and no vehicles allowed to move in or out…employees had to enter the works through the office entrance. The final demise of Velocette.
 1938 and 1939 works final drive sprockets were splined internally, rather than the usual Velocette crucifix type. Both 350 and 500 used this, although the 350 used the smaller primary chain type...1/2" x 5/16".
Interestingly the 500 used 1/2" x 3/8" rear chain as Norton did rather than the more usual 5/8" x 3/8" on their MSS roadsters.....
 The mainshafts were a bigger diameter than the previous racing gearboxes...1" diameter.
Another interesting fact is that the works cylinders had wider cylinder stud spacing and this was achieved by using eccentric crankcase studs...



Forged pistons prewar made by Hughes, Johnson of Oldesbury...

1 comment:

occhiolungo said...

Eccentric studs for offset cylinder stud spacing! I'll have to remember that idea, it might come in handy someday.

And I'm glad that he has located full sets of those splined drive sprockets, but I wonder why they used them instead of the crucifix?