1954 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow Series C
Registration no. VAS 860
Frame no. RC12453B
Engine no. F10/AB/1B/10553
As the Vincent company became more unstable financially in 1954, they were at the top of their game in terms of motorcycle production, with the formidable Black Shadow representing the dream bike of great numbers of enthusiasts, but remaining unattainable for most. Remaining an icon today, the Shadow is still the pinnacle of British motorcycles and keenly sought after, with the high restoration costs for a Vincent to top specification no bar to its popularity.
VAS 860 is an authentic late-model Shadow with the correct, lighter die-cast crankcases, now correctly restored for his own use by a VOC member and lifelong enthusiast for the marque. Purchased by the vendor from a dealer in 2006, after the loss of its original registration, what appeared to be a well-restored and genuine one-owner Black Shadow was found to be to totally original specification, but, as is so often the case, a 'total disaster' internally with missing fasteners and poor fits.
The crank-cases, mating numbers D86V, were professionally re-enamelled and fitted with new mains and a verified oil-pump while the crankshaft was rebuilt by Alpha with new big- and small-end bearings, the whole re-balanced to suit the new low-expansion 7.6:1 pistons. Don Alexander assembled the entire bottom-end and gearbox and new liners with painted muffs were fitted. Powder-coated Shadow heads with new oil-seal guides, springs and valves completed the engine whilst a Shadow high bottom gear, a dry multi-plate clutch and the latest pattern shock - absorber, chain-tensioners and chains completed the transmission.
Electrical work included a new wiring loom, a rebuilt Lucas 12v dynamo and a Cibié unit for the correct Miller headlamp with all authentic maker's parts, powered by a new Burlen battery. On the chassis, the Girdraulic forks were completely re-furbished with new bushes, eccentrics and spindles, with stainless fasteners which are also used throughout the machine. The rear Koni damper and the front Armstrong were rebuilt, while authentic ribbed drums and Lightning back-plates looked after stopping inside standard-pattern chromed and lined wheel-rims with stainless spokes. New handlebars controls, bar-end mirror, hydraulic steering-damper and cabling as well as a matched pair of David Woodsrebuilt Shadow 5" dials were fitted. The paintwork was, of course renewed to the highest standard and a new seat with stainless tool-tray fitted.
VAS 860 has been used regularly since completion for pleasure riding and VOC events, having completed 754 problem-free miles and being still within the running-in period. Sadly, the return of a long-established back problem has curtailed the owner's riding career and it is for this reason only that it is for sale. This absolutely authentic Shadow comes complete with a V5C, some old paperwork and MOT certificates, a VOC dating certificate, as well as a CD with photographs of the rebuild and is complete with a VOC badge. It is hoped that a full MOT will be with the machine on sale day.
- There is an MoT to August 2011 with this lot.
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