Only three owners from new
1953 Vincent 998cc Series-C Black Shadow
Registration no. OKH 303
Frame no. RC11963B
Engine no. F10AB/1B/10063
A highly sought-after, all-matching-numbers example (main frame, rear subframe, engine, gearbox and crankcase halves), this Series-C Black Shadow comes with a most comprehensive file of history that prospective purchasers are strongly urged to inspect. The machine was sold new via Jordan & Co (Hull) Ltd and first registered 'OKH 303' on 18th May 1953. Jordan's dealer plaque is still in place on the machine, which comes with its original old-style logbook recording Mervyn Henry Fenton of Grimsby, Lincolnshire as first owner from 29th May 1953. Eleven years later Mervyn Fenton sold the Vincent to his brother, John Smith Fenton (on 20th October 1964) for the sum of £120, and his signed receipt is on file.
The machine was taken off the road around ten years later; seven old tax discs dating from 1967 onwards come with it, the most recent dated August 1974, together with six MoTs for the same period issued by Freddie Frith Ltd in Grimsby. The current owner purchased the Vincent in March 2001 from the youngest of the three Fenton brothers, Geoffrey Fenton, who was selling it on behalf of his brother John, its second owner. A total of only 36,354 miles had been recorded on the odometer at time of acquisition and the machine was in totally original condition apart from a modern headlight unit (photographs on file). Fortunately, the original had been saved and has since been reunited with the machine.
Accompanying the Vincent was a quite exceptional quantity of original documentation. The latter includes photographs of M H Fenton (and his father) with the machine; United Dominions Trust paying-in book (indicating that first owner Mervyn Fenton bought it on hire purchase 18 monthly payments of £11 10s 7d!); Jordan's of Hull correspondence, folder, machine label, etc; the original Eagle Star Insurance document dated 2nd January 1953; sundry subsequent insurance certificates; assorted bills for minor parts dating from the 1960s and 1970s; and even John Smith Fenton's driving licence from the 1960s! This remarkably comprehensive history is offered with the machine today.
While in the vendor's care, 'OKH 303' has been restored by Vincent specialist Rod Hornsby of Scunthorpe. A late-model Series-C, it has the stronger Series-D crankcases and, with relatively few miles covered, the bottom end was found to require little work. Indeed, as the bike had spent the greater part of its life out of service, all the original components were found to be reusable, even down to the Dunlop wheel rims.
Completed in time to be displayed at Stafford in April 2006, the machine incorporates a few subtle modifications, including stainless-steel fastenings and mudguards (the original Birmabright 'guards come with it), an additional crankcase breather pipe and extra seat padding. The restoration's quality has already been recognised by two awards: the Vincent Owners Club's Maughan Trophy (2006) and 'Best in Show' at the Lincolnshire Wolds Run (2007). A mere 1,000-or-so miles have been covered since restoration (fewer than 38,000 from new) and the machine remains in pristine condition.
It is offered with the aforementioned history; sales receipt (2001); VOC Dating Certificate, spares lists and instruction sheets; sundry restoration invoices and photographs; current road fund licence; MoT to 28th June 2008; and Swansea V5C registration document. A wonderful opportunity to acquire a totally genuine all-matching-numbers Black Shadow with known history from new.