1955 Vincent 998cc 'Black Prince'
Registration no. RYU 283
Frame no. RD 12937B/F
Engine no. F10AB/2B/11037
Ever since the Series-A's arrival in 1937, the Vincent v-twin had been synonymous with design innovation, engineering excellence and superlative high performance. So in September 1955 when it was revealed that production of the Stevenage-built machines would cease, the news stunned the motorcycling world. It had been decided that the firm's future lay in more profitable lines of manufacture, and just 100 more of the fabulous v-twins would be completed. By the time its demise was announced, Vincent's final twin - the Series-D - had been in production for just six months.
It had been Philip Vincent's belief that provision of ample weather protection combined with enclosure of engine and gearbox, would make the Vincent Series-D the ultimate 'gentleman's motorcycle', though delayed delivery of the glassfibre panels - plus continuing demand for traditionally-styled models - resulted in over half the production leaving the Stevenage factory in un-enclosed form. The enclosed Rapide and Black Shadow were known as Black Knight and Black Prince respectively. Other Series-D innovations included a new frame and rear suspension, a user-friendly centre stand, plus many improvements to the peerless v-twin engine. When production ceased in December 1955, around 460 Series-D v-twins had been built, some 200 of which were enclosed models.
Supplied new via Conway Motors, this Black Prince was first registered on 1st November 1955 and bought by its late owner in January 1956. The machine was last taxed for the road in 1957. 'RYU 283' was dismantled some while ago and is offered for restoration in incomplete condition, the front enclosure, exhaust system and speedometer being among the parts obviously missing. Interestingly, it boasts twin-plug cylinder heads, a fuel tank that has been increased in capacity, and is painted blue rather than black, which might well be the original factory finish. The machine is sold strictly as viewed and comes with its original logbook and current/old Swansea V5/V5C documents.