Esteemed French photographer (and Vintagent Contributor) Laurent Nivalle visited the workshop of Atelier Chatokhine in the village of Ouerray recently, to document the resurrection of the Richard Vincent racing Velocette MSS. This historic machine was raced in Southern California in the mid-1960s by Richard, who lived in Santa Barbara and was a surfer, photographer, filmmaker, pilot, and motorcycle racer in the golden days of the ‘Endless Summer’ generation. We documented some of Richard’s story on The Vintagent with our short film ‘The Ended Summer’, by David Martinez, and Richard’s motorcycles and surfboards were exhibited at Wheels&Waves California in 2016, and Wheels&Waves France in 2017.Richard’s Velocette racer is a very special and historic machine, with a Lou Branch cylinder head of the type that was later adapted by the Veloce factory for its ‘Thruxton’ production racer. The head is easily recognized, with a huge 1 1/2″ Amal GP racing carburetor angling down towards the inlet valve, stuck out on an extended inlet tract. The setup gives an ideal 8″ distance between the carb’s fuel jet and the inlet valve itself, and the valves in the head are set at a shallower angle than the Venom head; the result is a significant horsepower increase, with much better breathing than a standard Velo head, and is the reason why a Velocette Thruxton won the Isle of Man Production TT in 1967, with a motorcycle design that was essentially 15 years old, barring that head, which had come from California race tuners!It isn’t known how many such cylinder heads were built for racers by Lou Branch (the LA Velocette importer) between 1962-5, when the factory began offering its own version, but there can’t be many! Richard’s machine has a fantastic patina, being totally original and as-last-raced from 1967, when he was drafted into the Army. A rocket blast in Vietnam put Richard in the hospital for a year, and injuries to his arm and eyes meant he was no longer able to compete at the level he wanted, so he laid up his Velocette and Triumph racers for almost 50 years, until he was prompted by his son to literally drag them out of the barn!Bringing the Velocettes (and Richard’s photography and films) to light is an ongoing project at The Vintagent, and it’s inspiring to see his motorcycles brought back to life at Atelier Chatokine (for the Velos) and the workshop of Hayden Roberts in Ventura (for the Triumph). Give our film a look, enjoy Laurent’s photos, and there’s more to come!