c.1954 Vincent 998cc Series-C Rapide
Frame no. RC10782
Engine no. F10AB/1/10670
Rear frame no. RC12570
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.
This Series-C twin consists of a matching engine and rear frame that originally formed part of a Rapide sold in London, while the main frame is that of a Black Shadow that was despatched to Kings Motors in Manchester in June 1952. Vincent owners tend to fall into two groups: those for whom originality is all-important, and those with an insatiable appetite for improvements. The previous owner of this example obviously belonged to the latter persuasion as the machine incorporates Amal Concentric carburettors, electronic ignition, alternator electrics, '150mph' speedometer and alloy wheel rims (19" front/18"rear) as well as modifications to the seat mountings, centre stand and crankcase breathing arrangements. Purchased for the Collection in 2006, this sensibly updated Rapide is offered with German registration documents and a set of original wheel rims.
- The original wheel rims are not present at the sale, however the vendor will endeavour to forward them to the successful purchaser.