One family ownership for 46 years 1951 Vincent 998cc Series C Black Shadow
Registration no. LVR 272
Frame no. RC8064B
Engine no. F10AB/1B/6164
The select band of motorcyclists who could afford to purchase the sensational Series C Black Shadow for a massive £402 in 1951 were duly warned not to exceed 105mph in third gear! At a time when the average family saloon would run out of steam at 70mph only Jaguars XK120 and Aston Martins DB2 came close to keeping up with the fabulously quick, thundering V-twin on the open road.
The pre-war Series A Vincent-HRD the plumbers nightmare had caused a sensation in 1937, setting a pattern for innovation, build quality and high performance which was to remain synonymous with the name Vincent throughout. Motoring journalist L J K Setright wrote in 1970 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. Ever conscious of the massive value of publicity, Vincent made much of Rollie Frees Worlds Fastest Production Motorcycle Record in 1948, riding John Edgars Black Shadow in America at a speed of 150.313mph, claiming that his boots reduced this achievement by no less than 0.5mph!
The Black Shadow was distinctive in appearance with its black-enamelled crankcases, its highly tuned engine out-performing Rapides on the open road and in all respects the Black Shadow reflected the outstanding build quality of the marque, more than justifying its price tag, which at the time would have bought a perfectly good family motor car.
This matching numbers machine was first registered on 6th March 1951 by Kings Motors (Oxford) Ltd of Deansgate, Manchester, its first private owner, Robert Greenwood of Preston, taking delivery on 21st March that year. The next private owner was Alfred Lewin James of Thornton, Bradford, from whom the late Donald Nelson of Shipley acquired the bike in July 1963. He used the bike with both enthusiasm and care until 1970 and there are records on file from that era showing expenditure of £62 on mechanical spares a not insignificant spend in old money. The bike was carefully laid up in the basement of his house in 1970 and has not turned a wheel since that time. It remains in all major respects to original specification and it is for the new owner to carefully recommission this machine, kicking it into life for the first time in 39 years. This fabulous time-warp machine is offered with old style log book and Swansea registration document.