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 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.
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!