In current ownership since 1952
1950 Vincent 998cc Series-C Rapide
Registration no. KYX 456
Frame no. RC5350
Engine no. F10AB/1/3450
Crankcase mating nos. DD79
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 including adjustable footrests, brake pedal, 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. With a top speed approaching 120mph and bettering it in the Black Shadow's case, the Vincent v-twin was the fastest road vehicle of its day.
The current vendor purchased this Rapide in February 1952 (at 14,500 miles) from its first owner, Mr P Hill of Old Farm, Riverhead, Sevenoaks, Kent. Mr Hill had just sent the Rapide back to the factory for servicing and the latest upgrades: new-type gear lever, alloy timing idler gear, and modified front brake, while improvements incorporated since then include a Series-D centre stand and modifying the original Miller dynamo to accept a Lucas AVC unit.
Used for long-distance touring as its maker intended, the Vincent has been ridden to the Isle of Man TT, to other UK race meetings, and on holidays at home and abroad. The machine comes with a detailed log of all major journeys undertaken, maintenance work carried out and parts replaced, together with mileage (inspection recommended). Noteworthy milestones include an engine bottom-end overhaul carried out at the Stevenage factory in August 1953 at 30,405 miles, and a top-end strip and cylinder head overhaul in July 1958 at 57,650 miles. Later that same year new Mark 3 cams, followers (x4) and a steel idler gear were fitted at 58,650 miles. From then onwards the Vincent was used occasionally until 1994 when it was placed in dry storage, the oil being changed yearly and the engine turned over regularly. At time of cataloguing the mileage recorded from new stood at circa 61,000.
We are advised that approximately 80% of the original Vincent tools and a small quantity of spares (oil filter, rear brake cables, etc) are offered with the machine together with most of the original fastenings (replaced with stainless steel). The original handbooks and parts list come with it also. Representing a rare opportunity to acquire a well cared for, low-mileage, two-owner Rapide possessing an exceptionally well documented history, 'KYX 456' is offered with old-style continuation logbook (issued 1958), various period photographs, expired MoT (1994) and old/current Swansea V5/V5C documents.