A nice pic of Paul Zell and one of his amazing Zellocettes; this one is the MeSS, with around 700cc of raw power, utilizing a special cylinder head/barrel/piston to create shocking stomp on the road. He regularly humbles riders of new machines, and this bike has proved to be fairly reliable, after much experimentation on earlier versions of ‘bigger banger’ theme. His previous Velocette special, the monstrous 780cc Thruxton (featured in Cycle World), produced amazing power, but was prone to mechanical gremlins. At this point, Paul is reverting to a standard 500cc engine in his Thruxton, as he’s tired of chasing the weaknesses in an overstressed engine. But, the MeSS has been going strong for a couple of years now.

Paul Zell, custom constructor/backyard engineer par excellence, with his latest construction, the MeSS, a 700cc lightweight for canyon carving, as seen here at Lake Berryessa in northern CA on a Velocette Club ride in 2006. [Paul d’Orléans]
Paul d’Orléans is the founder of TheVintagent.com. He is an author, photographer, filmmaker, museum curator, event organizer, and public speaker. Check out his Author Page, Instagram, and Facebook.