Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cool Bikes - 1954 V-35 Victoria

The usual suspects were standing around the bikes outside the Time Warp Tea room on a recent Tuesday night, enjoying one of the last warm evenings of summer, when we see Larry rolling up on this little blue bike. As the crowd starting checking it out, a buzz developed (in the crowd, not the bike) because nobody knew what it was.

This is a 1954 V35 Victoria. A 350cc bike made by the German car company Victoria. The current owner acquired the bike at an auction in Wisconsin in the fall of 2009. The bike was part of the private collection of David Mantly, who had passed away. 

Several things make this bike unique. Notice that the carburetor is not visible. It is totally enclosed in the engine case. Also notice that the entire engine is aluminum, the spark plugs are on the inside part of cylinder head, and that there are no visible bolts on the valve covers (they come up from underneath). It is thought that only 25 of these bikes were made. The most unique feature of this bike, one that I have never heard of before, is that it has no gears in the transmission, only five sets of chains and sprockets. This created a serious vibration problem, and the company soon went out of business (Larry says from sinking all of their money into developing this bike). This is 1 of 2 of these bikes in the U.S.  The other is in the museum at Barber Raceway.

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