1949 Velocette MAC lhs shot

Straight off the trailer after a quick wipe-down


OMG, the phone went at about 16:30 and it was a number that neither I nor the phone recognised…it was the driver form the transport company! He was ‘5 minutes away’, “was I home?” You bet I was! Adelaide traffic and some 3 roadworks turned 5 into 20 minutes in the rush-hour (pretty good going, I thought) and then this Van-and-trailer-thingy turned up. Nothing massive, but enough to hold a few bikes, and mine was first off! Great, I would otherwise have had to wait until Monday, but the driver was a classic/vintage fan, so all was in good hands! Well secured, the bike was unloaded in a tick and the two wheels I had also bought on ebay, which the seller had thoughtfully also taken to Alan’s place to send with the bike (thanks, Lee!) These will either become part of another Velocette project (a KSS Hill-Climber/Short-Circuit Racer I have on the back burner) or will supply spare wheels for the MAC…

1949 Velocette MAC rhs close-up between engine and G-Box

Nifty little oil-cutoff


Hope that the video works, this was my first attempt to start the little wonder, and it performed graciously, don’t you think? I had expected a few shots at it, with a bit of tinkering in between, but no, it obliged to start readily. So readily, in fact, that consequently attempts were successfully carried out without any ‘big swing’ necessary. I would even wager that Nancy could start the bike without any problem (45kg wringing wet!)(the next video, perhaps? – I haven’t actually asked/told her yet!!) Did you notice, no shaking of the whole machine or rotation of the rear whee on tickover?? Smooth as silk! I suppose that you want more photos?? Well, whaddyaknow, I took some more and these follow, some with commentary…

MAC Leftside 5

Taken from the eye-level perspective of a six-footer, the bike looks small, believe me, quite cute, actually!

MAC Leftside 2

Kneel down, and it begins to look bigger, already!

1948 MAC Gearbox

Gearbox-Number 9-16808 and a bit of crud (postwar)

1949 Velocette MAC lhs close-up of engine

Engine Number MAC 14265


… Must do some research on that. I only have numbers as of 1950 which start at 15068, so this must just prior to that. I would guess 1949 as this has the usual Dowty Forks and ball-bearing-hub with 7” front brake…

MAC Engine Number

Does that read 3992? I think so, so the frame is a bit earlier than the engine number (and the forks) would suggest…Perhaps the original owner of an earlier bike (around 1947??) blew up the engine? I have no idea, the fellows from the Velocette Owners’ Club will, no doubt, be able to shed more light on the matter!!

Handsome little machine and, in the photos, anyway, a very tidy looking bike. (they nearly always look better on photos, by the way!) The devil lies in the detail, as the Germans say, and so it is with this. Without passing any judgement on the vendor, the following has become apparent on closer inspection:
There is absolutely no wiring-loom of any kind present. It is not just the dynamo and lights that are missing, everything pertaining to the lighting and the generator and regulator, has to be provided for. (I ordered a Lucas 60W replacement unit for the would-have-been-original 30w Wipac, which arrived today) This will supply ample current for the 35w Halogen or HID unit I will be running and have plenty of ‘umph’ left over for the tail-light! (and indicators, electric seat , mirrors and not forgetting the beat-box!)
I do like, and will keep, the rather high-profile, inline, oil-cutoff-tap (the one with the red knob), which prevents oil leaking back into the engine when left standing (‘wet-sumping’…don’t, for heavens’ sake, forget to turn this back on before you start…). Wet sumping causes all sorts of problems, not least of which is poor starting, due to oil-drag on the flywheels, and contaminating of the Magneto with oil under pressure…
The wheels are in mediocre condition (the back worse than the front), both having been painted with aluminium-paint, as are the spokes and hubs, to make them look fresh. The chrome is gone on both rims and the spokes are all past their sell-by-date and though well usable, are well rust-pocked. The hubs are, of course, easily retrievable and usable in almost any condition.
The exhaust is worthy of mention. Most unusual on a Velocette is the upswept pipe, which offers, of course, better ground-clearance on those tight right-hand-corners…I think I might even get this pipe polished and chromed and use it on the racer!!! The Silencer/Muffler is also rather strange, I suspect from a Sunbeam or something… interesting is also the fact that the actual ‘fishtail’ is removable…might be interesting to keep (or use on the Hill-climber…??)
Most notable is the fact that the forks are pretty tight. No question of whether-or-not here, these NEED a rebuild. I was reliably informed that these often needed repair straight from the factory when they were new, so what can be done for them now, after 70 years?? Hopefully materials technology can supply an adequate replacement for tardy bushes etc?? An engine -breather is also apparently necessary or needs looking at, as when the engine is stopped (conveniently using the de-compression-lever, magneto, remember), the engine seems to ‘let go’ at the push-rod-tube, spurting oil out as if it were all the rage! (note: ‘O’-ring conversion necessary here (?) but only if a relief-valve/engine-breather is fitted/cleaned!)

What’s with the dents on both sides of the fuel-tank?? I’m not sure why the Dowtys foul the tank… A speedo also has to be found, the drive is on/from the back wheel, definitely post-WWII, as the earlier ones (first compulsory in 1938?) were driven from the front brake-plate? Please correct me, if I’m wrong!!