1951 Velocette MAC
It’s 1933 and the MAC is born! And although no one seems able to explain the meaning of the AC designation in MAC, this is of little importance as the mysterious acronym looks and sounds good, just like the machine itself. The M-series started with a 250cc overhead-valve (MOV) motor. The MAC 350 followed, offering a hair-raising 75mph from its 349cc long-stroke, high-camshaft pushrod engine, which was equipped with short rocker arms which successfully reduced the unpleasant and damaging effects of vibration. The MAC also offered a four-speed gearbox and started life with a Webb (girder-style) front fork.
The MAC became an instant classic as a smooth, straightforward, slimline, single-cylinder machine: ripe for privateer racing. Evolving over 30 years, the MAC benefited from the marque’s race development and a dedication to high build quality. In 1951, front suspension changed to Velocette’s own tele-fork system; this offered conventional coil springs and oil damping. In June, the engine sprouted a new all-alloy barrel and head (as offered here) with wider fins, better cooling and an increased compression ratio (up to 6.75:1). Known as the best of the 350s, the MAC was capable of keeping up with any of the contemporary 500s. The MAC epitomised everything rank-and-file riders loved about Velocettes: bulletproof, fast and reliable. It was also capable of sustaining radical reconfiguration and monstrous power output: such was the case with Burt Munro’s record-breaking Velocette.
This machine was registered new in Whangarei (New Zealand) on 27 September 1951. Provenance: From the collection of Don Gordon.
Image and text courtesy Webbs Auctions
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