1955 Vincent 998cc Rapide Series D
Registration no. JFR 980
Frame no. RD12640
Engine no. F10AB/2/10740
It had been Philip Vincents belief that provision of ample weather protection combined with enclosure of engine and gearbox would make the Vincent Series D the ultimate gentlemans motorcycle, though delayed delivery of the glassfibre panels - plus continuing demand for traditionally styled models - resulted in over half leaving the Stevenage factory in un-enclosed form. Indeed, the un-enclosed Rapide and Black Shadow were the first Series-D models to enter production (in March 1955) the enclosed Black Knight and Black Prince equivalents not appearing until April that year. Sadly, the firm lost money on every machine made, and when production ceased in December 1955 a mere 460 Series-D v-twins had been built, making these landmark, last-of-the-line models rare indeed. This un-enclosed Series-D Rapide had lain unused since 1967 before being comprehensively restored in 2006. We are advised that the engine has been fitted with new big-end and main bearings, oil pump and timing chest internals. The barrels, pistons and cylinder head components have been replaced, the non-standard magneto removed and a new correct distributor/coil ignition system and dynamo (with 12-volt conversion) fitted together with correct, refurbished Amal Monobloc carburettors. On the cycle parts side: stainless-steel fasteners and components have been used wherever replacement was required, and the wheels rebuilt with correct painted rims complete with new tyres. A new stainless-steel mudguard has been fitted at the front, while the original Birmabrite rear guard has been retained. The machine has only seen a hundred or so miles since its completion last year and will require further running in. It is offered with its original buff logbook, assorted restoration invoices, current MoT/road fund licence and Swansea V5 registration document.