Credit for their use is acknowledged to all of them.
WELL, we did it! World's Records at both 12 and 24 hour levels have been broken-by driving a virtually " stock Venom” at full bore. Absolutely against the stop, for all those arduous hours, both by day and by night at Montlhéry, near Paris last week-end. For a push-rod " 500 " on a mere 8.75 : 1 c.r. to scuttle round in flying laps of the 110 m.p.h. order, on perhaps the worst track anywhere, is something of which not only Veloce must be very proud but the entire British industry.
The 24-hr. record has not only been wrested from a foreign machine-and by nearly four mph but it has been hoisted to over the 100 m.p.h. mark. If only you could know the appalling condition of the track and the organizational handicaps over which the Velocette triumphed you would realize just what this record means.
As a participating rider, I can report that the machine had to do more than stand continuous full-bore-it had to go quickly enough to make good deficiencies arising front insufficient preparation not attributable, I am glad to say, to anyone hailing from this side of the Channel.
Veloce spent months carefully proving an almost standard “Venom". As any private owner could do, they took it from stock as a normal “Venom Vee-line Clubman," tuned to give both torque and power rising to peak at 5,800 to 5,900 rpm. Using the 1 3/16”in. Amal G.P. as rich as possible, it developed 39.8 bhp. On its 3.92:1 top gear it was able to lap at 110 to 112 mph. which it held for all of every lap-no throttling back anywhere for anything other than pit stopping. A good lap is done in 52 sec. and a poor one in 54½/55.
Now a word about the circuit de vitesse de Montlhéry. It is a bowl-shaped, concrete-banked slice of medieval punishment. It has two minute straights, and two torture-inflicting pieces of bump infested purgatory described as high-speed banking,. On this anti-clockwise course is painted a yellow median line which is the official distance. One must not go below this according to the regulations.
In fact, at 110 mph the line is about the lowest point of the banking at which to ride and during the actual attempt most pilots were about a yard-and-a-half higher to avoid the bumpier track lower down. One is then too high and stays up by leaning over to the right (relative to the banking), which unfortunately hastens tyre wear.
This is a favourite shot of mine...erstwhile managing director of Veloce Ltd, "Bertie" Goodman, flat on the tank of a cobbled up KTT special testing the new Velocette telescopic forks.Likely around 1950... he was a real "racer's racer"
Hard men in the 1950s...... road racing with ribbed front tyres on gravel road circuits...pictured at Quornhall, Tasmania, during the Junior TT. #21 ridden by D.Powell, Mk.8 KTT e/no. KTT1015 with #74 Max Stephens, Mk.8 KTT e/no. KTT1025.
Below, Pietro Taruffi, Rondine Gilera, sets a new world record..but where and when?
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