Interesting & Rare: Preserved 1963 Velocette Viceroy

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This 1963 Velocette Viceroy is one of only 700 manufactured by the English motorcycle company in the early 1960’s. According to the seller, the bike still wears its factory baby blue paint and remains in good running condition. Velocette was a staple in high-level international motorcycle racing from the mid-1920’s through early 1950’s, and made a name for itself around the world churning out reliable, well-built machines, some of which were quite fast and handsome. In a sign of the times the Viceroy of 1960-’64 swayed away from what the company had been known for, and was designed to compete not on the Isle of Man, but in the red-hot moped segment alongside strong-selling Lambrettas and Vespas of the day. The bike is highly unconventional, featuring a 247cc two-stroke horizontally-opposed twin, and sale includes a good deal of original documentation as well as a pair of factory workshop manuals. Find it here on Craigslist in Deltona, Florida for $7,700. The seller claims that this example was featured on the stand at the British International Motor show back in 1962, adding that sale includes the original workshop manual, service manual, and owners handbook. Says the seller: “It’s ugly, but it has it’s original light blue paint. This unit is up and running with new batteries and a clean title.” Paint does look as if it could remain original, showing plenty of patina but nothing approaching neglect or extreme wear. Someone’s painted “Conroy’s Follie” (sic) on the front of the scooter–maybe that’s Conroy himself standing adjacent to the bike in the ad. The scooter features a somewhat unorthodox drivetrain, as it’s powered by a 247cc two-stroke horizontally-opposed twin. The pistons in these boxer engines fire in unison and are known to sound more like a single. Power is transmitted from the flywheel through a drive shaft that connects to the rear-mounted 4-speed gearbox, which is quite unusual in itself as most bikes combine crank and trans cases in one casting. Output was factory rated at 15 horsepower which allowed a comfortable 65 mph cruise. Weight should be just over 300 lbs.  Velocette’s take on scooter design featured a very different layout from what was typical at the time.  Unique to this model was the fact that the engine was mounted up front, rather than under the seat as with most contemporary scooters. As a result, the Viceroy was reportedly very well balanced and said to possess surprisingly decent handling characteristics. Production of the Viceroy began in 1960 and ceased in 1964. It was one of the last new models drawn up by the firm, as they would close for good a few years later in 1971. Even so, the small, family-owned operation was very successful through the years and did well in the market against the much larger productions of Triumph, BSA, and Norton. All of their models were hand built and made to very high standards. The seller claims that this example was featured on the stand at the British International Motor show back in 1962, adding that sale includes the original workshop manual, service manual, and owners handbook.

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