Vinnylonglegs one owner and just 721,703 miles!
1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince
Registration no. WTN 92
Frame no. RC/1/11492/B
Engine no. F10AB/2B/10913
Phil Vincent described the new stylish 998cc Black Prince as a 'two wheeled Bentley'. It was launched at the 1954 Earls Court Motor Cycle Show alongside the 998cc Black Knight and the 500cc Victor. With its innovative full enclosure fairing and side panels the new Black Prince was the sensation of the show. The new fairing and 'bodywork' was designed primarily for rider comfort and not for additional speed, as it was considered that the big-twin Vincents already had power-a-plenty. When tested by the Motor Cycle magazine the Black Prince was reported as handling as well as the Black Shadow while recording improved fuel consumption. A lever on the left of the machine enabled it to be lifted on to its stand with ease. Although launched in 1954, it was early 1955 before delivery of the fibreglass components had been sorted out and the first models were offered to the public. With Vincent production ceasing in December 1955 the 'enclosed' Black Prince is one of the rarest of Vincent models.
WTN 92 was bought new in 1955 by its present owner from St. Andrews Motors of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Some fifty-six years on he is the only person who has ever ridden this machine with the sole exception, presumably, of the original works tester and has covered 721,703 well documented miles at the time of cataloguing. In Vincent circles this machine is known world-wide as Vinnylonglegs. Until 1980 it was used for riding to work and long distance touring holidays and in subsequent years was extensively used as lead bike on European tours in the owner's guided motorcycle tours business.
Many modifications were carried out to ensure that Vinnylonglegs became the ultimate Vincent for coping with Continental tours in mountain terrain and temperatures often between 30˚C and 40˚C. The original front fairing, mudguard and engine enclosures were replaced with a redesigned front fairing with twin sealed beam headlights and two large side pockets were added. This significantly enhanced cool running. The original flimsy upper frame member was replaced with the much stiffer box section Series C frame member and a Primmer Series C four gallon fuel tank fitted. The Series C upper frame member is now a six pint reserve fuel tank. The original upper frame member and fuel tank are also offered with this machine. Electrics were enhanced with the fitting of a 240 watt alternator together with a range of modern electrical accessories including winkers, high level LED brake light, high intensity rear fog lights, Lucas Rita ignition, electronic rev counter, twin six volt Cyclon batteries (recently renewed) and headlamp flasher. Disc brakes have been fitted along with Koni dampers, hydraulic steering damper, 'O' ring chain with Scott oiler, magnetic drain plugs in crankcase, gearbox, primary chain case and in the return oil supply to the tank. A side stand has been fitted. The pannier frames carry two five-gallon boxes and the frame above normally carries a large army kit bag with full camping kit.
Other original parts removed from the bike are offered with the machine and include the six volt coil with bracket, original front fairing cross piece, battery carrier and strap, and steel magneto cover.
This remarkable Vincent, which itself is a magnet at Vincent Owners' Club meetings, is offered with its original purchase receipt, buff log book, several expired MoT certificates and old tax discs, bills for spares and repairs and useful wiring diagrams. It comes also with the moulds for the front fairing and screen, a new rear tyre has been fitted and the bike will be offered with current MoT certificate and road licence.
The vendor regrets that only advancing years prevent his 750,000 mile target from being achieved. His interest in Vinnylonglegs in its new ownership will continue and he will be happy to advise the new owner regarding the niceties of modification carried out and the bike's unique idiosyncrasies.