1954 Vincent 998cc White Shadow Series-C
Registration no. GWH 926
Frame no. RC12451A
Engine no. F10AB/1A/10551
Well into the 1960s and even today, when it is wrapped in a mystique carefully cultivated by thousands of fanatically enthusiastic owners, the big Vincent retained that commanding air about it when you met one on the road, and many a rider of avowedly super-sporting machinery would be humiliated by having some much older Black Shadow come past at the canter
- L J K Setright.
Ever since the Series As arrival in 1937, the Vincent v-twin has been synonymous with design innovation, engineering excellence and superlative high performance. From Rollie Frees capture of the worlds fastest production motorcycle record in 1948 on a tuned Series-B Black Shadow to the final fully enclosed Black Knight and Black Prince, Philip Vincents stress on appearance and performance is legendary. His machines bristled with innovative features, offering adjustment of brake pedal, footrests, seat height and gear-change lever. The finish was to a very high standard commensurate with the cost of the machine, which was virtually double that of any of its contemporaries.
The appeal of the Vincent, and the 120mph-plus Black Shadow in particular, lay in its ability to outperform just about every other vehicle on the road, and in the early post-war years there was nothing to compare with it. This was a time when the average family saloon was barely capable of reaching 70mph, and not until the advent of Jaguars XK120 was there a production sportscar that could live with the thundering v-twins from Stevenage.
As Vincent enthusiasts will know, not every Shadow-specification machine left the factory with the distinctive black-finished engine casings, those few that did not being known as White Shadows and identified by a 1A engine number prefix (Rapides are 1, Black Shadows are 1B). Only a relative handful of these White Shadows is known to exist today. This example is well documented, having been known to the Vincent Owners Club for many years, and is believed to be the last White Shadow produced. In an article published in the VOCs magazine, MPH (March 1984 edition, copy supplied) the immediately preceding owner Roy Walton recalled buying the machine in 1980 from its first owner, Albert Ellis of Bolton. At that time the Vincent was laid-up, having spent much of its life in Mr Elliss living room, and had covered only 30,000 miles from new. Mr Walton goes on to document the Shadows complete restoration, culminating in its concours win at the VOCs Annual Rally. Sold by Roy Walton to the current owner in November 2006, GWH 926 has covered only 50,000-or-so miles from new and merely required a routine service when acquired. Taxed and MoTd, it is offered with a comprehensive history file containing the original buff logbook, restoration invoices, assorted other documents and Swansea V5 registration document.