Venture Classics

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Telephone:- 01531 671134 or 07749 114339; email:- c.spaett@btinternet.com

 

Established in 2003 by Chris Spaett when he gave up a well paid position as Managing Director of one the UK's largest Car Dealer Groups to fulfill a lifelong dream to work professionally with Classic Motorcycles. It is a business with an aim, as any other, to make money but it is not the main driver (as if it were he would have stayed where he was) but to enjoy with fellow enthusiasts, the passion of riding and restoring old two wheeled machines. British Motorcycles are our specialty but anything interesting that is motorised and on two wheels is catered for.

Our overheads are intentionally kept as low as possible to ensure that margins don't have to be high, therefore we do not have a shop and have to restrict viewing of any of our machines to pre arranged appointment times only please.

Some of my own Motorcycles

Vincent Rapide; 1949; early Series C but with Brampton Girders fitted; not sure if this was original or not; all correct and original numbers; always been in the West Country having originally been supplied by Green's of Newton Abbott; restored by Bill Graver of West Norfolk Motorcycles to his usual exemplary standard; this machine runs and rides absolutely beautifully; I have carried out a few minor modifications such as fitting the 8 inch headlight etc; as far as I am aware, the machine has spent most, if not all of its life with a Steib chair fitted; this was restored at the same time but removed by myself as I am definately not a Sidecar Man; I have since the photos were taken fitted the correct Solo Fork Top Links to bring the wheel further back. I absolutely love this machine and have covered around 1,500 miles in the first two months of having it here Click on the Thumbnails to view larger images 

 

Triumph TR6SS; 1962; this is the second time that I have owned this machine, originally it had only had one owner before myself, I then sold it locally to a chap who carried out most of the restoration work and then sold it back to me; I couldn't part with it again after that; the original owner kept a comprehensive history file including many photos of the bike throughout his ownership (some attached here), there is even one of him with the machine when it was collected from King's of Oxford; he used it not only as regular transport but also to compete in various on and off road trials including the Lands End Trial and the Silverstone Speed Trials; it still has all of its original paperwork including Buff Log Book, Handbook etc; I do have a low level Siamese pipe and another set of wheels with road Tyres. It is a really pleasant bike to ride that has a decent turn of speed as well; Recently featured in Real Classics Magazine; Click on the Thumbnails to view larger images 

 

AJS H6 Big Port; 1927; converted to full race spec at the Works by its then owner and AJS employee Jack Woodhouse prior to the Wolverhampton firm's acquisition by Matchless; specification includes very rare twin pannier fuel tanks, racing magneto; tank mounted leather toolbox, racing saddle; separate oil tank with heel operated auxiliary oil pump, close ratio gears etc; previously part of the Brian Verrall collection; recently had engine and gearbox fully overhauled; paintwork is believed to be largely original; this stunning little machine starts extremely easily; it runs and rides very well and is remarkably quick and nimble; it puts a huge grin on my face every time that I ride it which is why I have now decided to add it my 'Pension Fund'. Click on the Thumbnails to view larger images 

 

A rather nice 1039 Rudge Ulster has also recently joined my own collection. It is one of the last Bronze head models and looks very attractive in black with a chrome tank. Until recently, I had no idea what an impressive machines these really are. The engine is sooo willing combined with the best brakes and any pre-war bike that I have ridden. It is really easy to forget the age of this machine when riding it. I'm hooked! Click on the Thumbnails to view larger images 

 

This Norton 500 International was Manufactured 12th May 1955 and went to Hal Jones in California. It was repatriated in 1991 fortunately still with its original engine, frame and gearbox and sold by ourselves in 2005. I was delighted to have the opportunity to buy the machine back in December 2009 and have now decided that it should stay with me. It is lovely mechanically and to ride but a little cosmetically challenged so I intend to ride it quite a bit for a while with a view to getting the 'old girl' done up again at a later date. Featherbed Inters are quite rare machines and I particularly like the look of the tank without the round plastic badges. Click on the Thumbnails to view larger images 

 

This is one of two Velocette Thruxton Production Racers built by Ralph Seymore for the 1975 & 1976 TT. This bike has a very well documented history and is featured in Ivan Rhodes book. It was raced in the 1976 Production TT piloted by Danny Shimmin and Fred Walton. In practice it covered the course 3rd fastest at 93.5 mph but sadly the result of the race is not recorded or known as it was postponed due to poor weather and therefore the results were not reported in the Press. The previous owner had the bike since 1981. This is a very quick Velocette and fun to ride! Click on the Thumbnails to view larger images 

 

This lovely old BSA Gold Star is a DB32 with all of its correct and original numbers. It was supplied new to Cowie, Newcastle on Tyne in January 1957 in as you see it full Clubman's trim. It came to me as a part of a batch from a Gold Star collector and I fell in love with the charm of the smaller engine and have therefore decided to keep it. The only visual difference between the DB32 and its bigger brother the DBD34 is the size of the carburetor. It is now fitted with a Pearson 400cc piston and you would not believe the difference, I still can't. I subsequently changed the engine sprocket from an 18 tooth to a 20 tooth and it still copes really well even with the RRT2. This is a fabulous upgrade for a 350 Goldie and well worth every penny. The machine now also has a 190 front brake which looks great but doesn't work any better so I have just sourced a TLS brake plate which will be fitted in due course. Click on the Thumbnails to view larger images 

 

The Vincent Black Shadow featured below was bought as a 'Basket Case' in 2006 and Bill Graver of Middleton Motorcycles were tasked with completing a total restoration on the machine. A truly superb job of it he has done too. The Vincent had been in the same ownership since the 1950's (confirmed by the Buff Log Book and V5) and unused since 1966 when it holed a piston. It was then (reasonably well) stored until I acquired it and still in fantastically original condition. As much of the original machine as possible was saved and restored including the 'Burgess' silencer. It was bought with the full intention of selling it on again in the end but I have totally fallen for the bike and therefore decided to keep it despite receiving a couple of very generous offers quite close to the 42,500 then asking price. It is now no longer for sale. It is my intention to use the machine as much as possible and at the time of writing have covered over 1,000 miles on it. In fact on its first Club Run outing it came away with 'Best Post War' and 'Best Overall' Machine Cups which was a nice unexpected surprise. Click on the Thumbnails to view larger images Now reluctantly sold and I wish I hadn't but the cash was used to fund other machines.

 

Here (below) is a Triton that I rebuilt many moons ago. It was sold when I set up Venture Classics because my thinking then was that I didn't need any of my own bike to keep any more and that I needed to devote all of the cash and space to stock for sale. This decision I regretted very much and the bike that I most regretted selling was this Triton. Much to my astonishment, it appeared on eBay in the Summer of 2006 so I was able to buy it back from the person that I sold it to. Much to my delight it was pretty much in the same condition as it was when I sold it 3 years previous other than that it had developed a couple of minor faults, the worst being a horrendous oil leak which turned out to be nothing more than the drain plug on the Primary case had fallen out. It took me a while to find that believe it or not. Teach me to look for the obvious first. Now over 10,000 miles since its rebuild, it is still oil tight and goes really well (it has run on Castrol R all of that time). It has gained a few battle scars and a pair of 'Bacon Slicers' along the way though. I'm glad its back. Click on the Thumbnails to view larger images

 

 

This lovely little bike is a 1939 Velocette MAC which I have owned for a few years now and love to bits. If I had to sell all of my bikes bar one, this would almost certainly be the one that stays. I use it all year round and have covered quite a few thousand miles on it. It has been totally dependable, never letting me down (not yet anyway). All that I have done to it to date is to service regularly which is a testament to the people that built it in the first place and its subsequent owners. It appears to be  largely un-restored and is in superb mechanical order. I know that the previous owner also used it a lot and covered a very large mileage on it. He also never touched the engine and it is still sweet as a nut. The phot was taken shortly after I bought the bike and it now has a few period 'bits' re-fitted such as Push Pull Throttle, period Choke Lever and tax disc holder etc. It was tested by Frank Westworth and Rowena Hoseason of Real Classics and featured in the magazine and they both loved it too. Click on the Thumbnails to view larger images

 

Here is my Honda CB200 which I had for many many years. It is the only bike to survive the Cull that I had when I sold everything to start up Venture Classics. Don't laugh, they are great little bikes and we all (my friends and I) had them when we were 17 as the learner limit was 250cc. Must of us couldn't stretch to a 250 and as these were a lot cheaper and totally 'Bomb Proof' we bought these little Hondas instead. It has still only done 13,000 miles from new and is totally original. It used to get a fair bit of use but now only really comes out to play for its MOT once a year. It will suit me well if I get to the point where I can only manage a light weight with electric leg. Click on the Thumbnails to view larger images

 

This is a bike that was in the collection for a couple of years but has now been sold to make space for the Vincent Black Shadow. It is a 1970 Velocette Venom Thruxton which had been in storage since 1975. It is beautifully original having covered a mere 7,834 miles from new. It still has the original Log Book showing Geoff Dodkin as the 1st & 3rd owner and MOT's to confirm the mileage. The 4th owner bought it in 1972 and put it into storage. It was pulled out into the daylight again after 30 years of darkness in August 2005. The engine was seized as were many other parts but with careful preparation the glorious old Velo is coming back to life. It actually moved under it's own steam today (4th Sept 2005) and sounded as wonderful as you would expect from such a low mileage machine. The intention is to leave it un-restored and to just clean it and tidy it up as much as possible before it goes back into regular service.  Click on the Thumbnails to view larger images

Here is the same bike after having completed the 2006 'Spirit of the Sixties'. The bike didn't miss a beat and is now running very well after its careful but light re-commissioning. As little as possible was changed but as much as reasonably possible was carefully taken apart, cleaned, lubricated and then reassembled. There were a lot of comments about it being well used and a bit rusty from other entrants on the run but I prefer to keep it as genuinely original as possible including the slightly now shabby paintwork. It just needs to run well which it does. (Update) I used the machine for 2 years and covered around 1,500 miles on it. It was totally reliable but I did have the Big and Main Ends replaced just before sale as it was just starting to rattle very slightly from the bottom end. It had obviously not been apart before.

Another one of Chris's 'own bikes' (now sold, that was a tough decision), and another Velocette Thruxton (Seymore built Replica) resting after the 2005 'Spirit of the Sixties' run. It was bought as an unfinished project and is now a truly wonderful, fast & furious machine. Photo courtesy of Mr P Rooke.

 

The same bike at Motorcycle World Beaulieu June 2005. Covered 500 miles and 4 Parades in 2 days without missing a beat and all in searing heat too. Fabulous selection of machines present including the 'Roarer' all to commemorate the Centenary of the Velocette.

 

Chris on a very special October 1958 T120 'Tangerine Dream'.

 

Here is another one! We had the restoration commissioned in 2004 and it sold immediately when finished

 

Another wonderful machine sold during 2004

 

And another, this time a genuine Long Stroke Double Knocker Manx bought in 2005.

The engine was wonderfully rebuilt by George Cohen shortly after this photo was taken

and is now truly a work of art again.