1948 Vincent-HRD 998cc Black Shadow Frame no. R3288 Engine no. F10AB/1/1298
Lot 327
1948 Vincent-HRD 998cc Black Shadow
Frame no. R3288 Engine no. F10AB/1/1298
US$ 60,000 - 70,000
£47,000 - 54,000

Amended
Lot Details
1948 Vincent-HRD 998cc Black Shadow Frame no. R3288 Engine no. F10AB/1/1298 1948 Vincent-HRD 998cc Black Shadow Frame no. R3288 Engine no. F10AB/1/1298 1948 Vincent-HRD 998cc Black Shadow Frame no. R3288 Engine no. F10AB/1/1298
1948 Vincent-HRD 998cc Black Shadow
Frame no. R3288
Engine no. F10AB/1/1298
The Vincent-HRD marque originated in 1928 when Philip C Vincent acquired the name, jigs, tools and patterns of the recently liquidated HRD Company. (‘HRD’ stood for Howard Raymond Davies, the Isle of Man TT winner who had founded the firm in 1924). Vincent moved production from Wolverhampton to Stevenage and set about putting his motorcycle design ideas into practice, commencing with an innovative sprung frame that would remain a feature of Vincent motorcycles until production ceased in 1955.

Ever since the Series A’s arrival in 1937, the Vincent v-twin has been synonymous with design innovation, engineering excellence and superlative high performance. From Rollie Free’s capture of the ‘world’s fastest production motorcycle’ record in 1948 on a tuned Series-B Black Shadow to the final fully enclosed Black Knight and Black Prince, Philip Vincent’s 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.

But above all else it was the v-twin’s stupendous performance that captivated motorcyclists, whether they could afford one or not. The appeal of the Vincent, and the Black Shadow in particular, lay in its ability to out-perform 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 sedan was barely capable of reaching 70mph, and not until the advent of Jaguar’s XK120 was there a production sports car that could live with the thundering v-twins from Stevenage. With a top speed approaching 120mph and bettering it in the Black Shadow’s case, the Vincent v-twin was quite simply the fastest road vehicle of its day.

The Vincent was indeed a legend in its own lifetime, and in the half-century since production ceased, the esteem in which this iconic motorcycle is held has only increased, fueling the demand among discerning collectors for fine examples of the marque, such as that offered here. Argentina was an important export market for Vincent (Philip Vincent’s father was a wealthy rancher in Argentina) and factory records show that this Series-B Rapide – frame number ‘R3288’, engine number ‘F10AB/1/1298’ was dispatched to Cimics in Buenos Aires in November 1948. Apparently well restored, the machine was purchased by the vendor’s ex-husband in Britain in June 1996 from Team Central, of Perry Barr, Birmingham (the attached tax disc indicates that it was last licensed for the road in that country in 1997). The Rapide had supposedly been mounted on a wall in the bar of a public house for more than 25 years prior to purchase!

Without reserve

Saleroom notices

  • The bike is incorrectly titled on the online catalog. It should be listed as a 1948 Vincent-HRD 998cc Series B Rapide.
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