1951 Vincent 499cc Comet
Registration no. LFO 316
Frame no. RC/1/8738
Engine no. F5/AB/2A/7794
Announced in 1948, the Vincent's Meteor and Comet were effectively single-cylinder versions of the Rapide and Black Shadow respectively. The Meteor did not stay the distance but the Comet became a respected model, more easily purchased than a twin and preferred by many enthusiasts who disliked the weight and wide engine units of the big Vincents or did not wish to run a 'thousand' on the grounds of cost or complexity.
What the buyer got was all of the Vincent's advanced chassis engineering and an engine with excellent performance which proved in service to be more trouble-free than the twin's, since the bottom-end and lubrication system were identical in most respects to the 'thousand' and, therefore, unstressed and very long-lasting.
This Comet was signed out from the works on 10th May 1951, left the works on the 26th to Humphreys in London and most of its history since then is documented. When LFO 316 was acquired in 2005 from a VOC member, the crankcase, mating number 41DD, had already been carefully restored with new bottom-end bearings, rebuilt magneto and ATD, barrel, piston and clutch. A further and extensive 'rolling' restoration has since been done by the vendor and the Comet has been rewired and re-specified to 12V, with the dynamo being fitted with an electronic regulator and the correct type of Miller headlamp sourced and fitted with a sealed-beam unit. Mechanically, a rebuilt twin-plug head with new valves and springs and a Conway 'anti-sumping' valve were added, together with a re-conditioned and correct Amal 289 carburettor. The gearbox was in good order and was cleaned and fitted with seals as necessary.
On the chassis side, all control cables were renewed and new stainless 'guards, bar-end mirror and exhaust system fitted together with a rear Koni and front Armstrong damper. All stands have been reconditioned and a new 'Franklyn' side-stand added. The wheels are built round flangeless alloy rims with fully rebuilt brakes with ribbed 'Shadow' drums on the front, stainless water excluders and modern tyres.
Used for about 5,000 miles of pleasure riding since completion, LFO 316 has a VOC dating certificate and club badge, a copy of Vincent's works Order Form as well as nine old MOTs and other papers together with a CD of the rebuild. It has a current MOT and (free) road tax. Needing nothing but riding, this super Comet awaits its new owner.