The mouse that roars


This unrestored Velocette Valiant is living testament to Hall Green design and build quality. But the surprisingly rorty offering would have needed to be 50cc more and £50 less to succeed.

Words and photographs: Steve Wilson

Andrew Whiting has lived in the same beautiful Berkshire village for some 50 years. It is an altogether fitting home for his Valiant, Velocette’s 192cc, shaft-driven, horizontally-opposed ohv twin.

The ohv Valiant was based on the sv LE, but styled very differently.

The Valiant is itself part of the community. As I got ready to ride it, a younger neighbour came up to us, smiling with concern, and said: “I hope this isn’t a sad day, Andrew? You’re not letting her go?” He seemed reassured that the Velocette was not departing.

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Andrew, a chartered quantity surveyor, had acquired the 1962 Valiant in 1977, with just over 2000 miles on the clock, from a man in High Wycombe who had been keeping it in his lounge. “At the last minute, he almost changed his mind about selling, but I said I’d come all that way so could I at least have a ride? And when I got back I pressed the money into his hand and rode straight off to Ralph Seymour’s in Thame, where I left it for a service and came back a week later having taxed and insured it…”

Over the years Andrew, a spry 75-year-old, has covered nearly 17,000 miles on the Valiant, mainly to local shows. The only attentions it has received have been a re-covered dualseat and a Honda coil. So what had been the genesis of this faithful and quite unique little model?

Read more in the June issue of TCM – on sale now!

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