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1957 VH discovered in USA

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:07 am
by Akumar
Dear fellow enthusiasts,

I have acquired this 1957 VH today (you may also get a chuckle from the license plates of my friend Rick’s truck). This is a fairly complete bike with solid compression. The color is a mystery to me. It does appear to be original paint. Did they make VH in this color?

Kumar

1957 Ariel VH-1.jpg

1957 Ariel VH-2.jpg

1957 Ariel VH-4.jpg
1957 Ariel VH-4.jpg (95.35 KiB) Viewed 1387 times

1957 Ariel VH-3.jpg
1957 Ariel VH-3.jpg (107.31 KiB) Viewed 1387 times

Re: 1957 VH discovered in USA

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:39 am
by adrie.degraaff
A very original Ariel, it could be first collor becouse the small part of the rear light is black, there are some difficult parts missing.
Is that a velocette in the garage?

Re: 1957 VH discovered in USA

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:50 pm
by Knud.Degnbol
I believe in the colour. It's missing parts of the chainguard end the airfilter. Don't restore it.

Re: 1957 VH discovered in USA

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:56 am
by Eero.Korhonen
And speedo too.
Br, Eero

Re: 1957 VH discovered in USA

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:02 pm
by paul.jameson
You have one hell of a rare machine. The colour is Cherokee Red (according to the factory despatch record for your bike). Some confuse this colour with the Glamour Red finish used slightly later. The two are not the same. If you can find an area of original colour - perhaps under the tank badges - please can you match it to modern paint colours. As far as I know - and I should - we do not have an accurate match for Cherokee Red.

Re: 1957 VH discovered in USA

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:24 am
by Akumar
Hi Paul and Adrie,

I will get the color matched and post the information soon. Since Adrie correctly spotted my Velocette, I really would like to share this incredible story for entertainment of all readers (since we all love British bikes and a good story even if it is not an Ariel).

This is a 1965 Velocette MSS 500 with 1956 Velorex Sidecar. In October 1964, one Mr. Samuel Swann bought this motorcycle brand new in London. Early in 1965 Mr. Swann set out on this motorcycle for an adventure that would last more than 3 years and cover more than 100,000 miles. His travels took him to various middle-eastern countries including Iran. He stayed with local Iranian hosts while he waited for repairs to be done on Velocette. Apparently, Iranian tradition dictated that the hosts give a gift to their departing guest. Guess what?

The gift was a little dog. Mr. Swann named the dog - Snowy. Now the obvious problem was how would he take Snowy with him on a motorcycle?

Mr. Swann bought a 1956 Czechoslovakian Velorex side car in Iran for Snowy's riding comfort. The two continued their world travels before finally settling in 1968 in Houston (British Columbia, Canada). Local folks from Houston fondly recall the gentle Englishman with Snowy in the side car sporting a long scarf and wearing goggles. Swann and Snowy were inseparable for 14 years, until Snowy died. Swann returned to his native England in 1983 where he passed away in 2004.

In 1976, Swann gave this Velocette to his friend - John L who restored it and repainted it in his favorite two-tone blue and grey color. John sold this motorcycle to me last year making me the third owner. This photo was taken just a few weeks ago in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. I also have attached a story about this Velocette in a local Canadian newspaper in July 1997.

1965 Velocette-MSS2.jpg

Re: 1957 VH discovered in USA

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:39 am
by adrie.degraaff
If you ride it to Holland than i will give you a dog :D .

Re: 1957 VH discovered in USA

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:34 am
by Eero.Korhonen
Great story and lovely bike.
Br, Eero

Re: 1957 VH discovered in USA

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:28 pm
by Vincent.vanGinneke
Thanks for sharing, really nice story and lovely Velocette.
This cherokee red is a good color for 'The Hermanator' I'd be interested too to know if there is a modern equivalent.