1949 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow
Registration no. BEB 443
Frame no. BC-4425B
Engine no. F10/AB/1B-2525
During the Black Shadows 7-year lifespan the firm produced a total of around 2500 models in all, of which more than 90% were to C Series specification, visually distinguished from the Rapide, its less costly stable mate, due to the addition of ribbed brake drums, a pair of magnificent 5-inch clocks, and, with the exception of a few White Shadows, a black-finished engine. In a deprived Britain of 1948/49 the specification provided a mouth-watering list of fittings and performance modifications, which somehow justified Vincents retail price at a shade over of £400, although in 1948, at the time of the Shadows announcement, it was regarded as a stratospheric amount in some quarters of the contemporary press. Quite sensibly the Vincent company went to considerable trouble to ensure potential customers were aware that every Shadow was selectively assembled on the Stevenage factorys production line, and how various internal components which had been especially polished or lightened, together with a compression ratio raised to 7.3:1 would not only guarantee a maximum speed of 120+ mph but, thanks to a 3.5 top gear, gave a sustained cruising speed of one hundred mph into the bargain. That was quite an achievement on the fuel of the day, with octane ratings in the low 70s! Writing in Motorcycle Sport for March 1985 the renowned Vincent tester, Ted Davis, said that,
thirty years after the end of production, their performance is still competitive with that of modern superbikes
they are lighter, smaller, and more economical
he who bought a Black Shadow with its achievements around the world has a legend in his own lifetime.
The Vincent, which has retained the steel rims and alloy mudguards, has been owned for the last 19 years by well-known motocross competitor Jack Hubbard, who sadly died earlier this year. A former works rider for AMC, he won his ACU Centre Scramble Championship over several seasons; he won the Channel Islands Sand Racing Championship as well as the Eastern Centre Grasstrack Championship. With an indicated mileage of 376m the ultra clean and highly original Shadow has clearly been conscientiously cared for, and for many years has been located in the late owners Trophy Room. On file [as part of the machines provenance] is a hand-written note from Ted Davis, an old friend, who had forwarded his own official Rectification Card, after he had carried out a comprehensive renovation on the Shadow in 1994. Supplied with V5 Registration document, and an April 2004 Dating Certificate from Roy Bacon.
- The machines' original speedometer is unusually together with a matching Smiths rev counter. Brilliant restoration to original condition by Vincent employee and test rider Ted Davies. The V5 and Dating certificate will be forwarded after the sale.