1952 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow,
Lot 333
1952 Vincent 998cc Series-C Black Shadow Frame no. RC10672B Engine no. F10AB/1B/8772
Sold for £51,000 (US$ 82,594) inc. premium

Lot Details
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1952 Vincent 998cc Series-C Black Shadow
Registration no. OSU 687
Frame no. RC10672B
Engine no. F10AB/1B/8772
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, offering adjustment of brake pedal, footrests, 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. The appeal of the Vincent, and the Black Shadow in particular, lay in its ability to out-perform just about every other vehicle on the road, and in the early post-war years there was nothing to compare with it. This was a time when the average family sedan was barely capable of reaching 70mph, and not until the advent of Jaguar's XK120 was there a production sports car that could live with the thundering v-twins from Stevenage. With a top speed approaching 120mph and bettering it in the Black Shadow's case, the Vincent v-twin was quite simply the fastest road vehicle of its day.

Vincent Owners' Club records show that this particular Black Shadow was ordered by Williams of Cheltenham in March 1952 and sold later via their Worcester branch. At some stage in its life the Shadow went overseas before being re-imported in 1989 by the late Brian Verrall, who sold it to the current owner's father-in-law that April. 'OSU 687' was given to the vendor in 2000 and has covered only 380 miles since returning to the UK 22 years ago. Serviced and MoT'd in July 2012, the machine is offered with Swansea V5 registration document.

Saleroom notices

  • The comprehensive history file for the machine includes VOC correspondence, expired MOT's, DVLA correspondence, B. Verrall Bill of Sale (1989), expired tax discs, old style V5, sundry bills, OC Membership list, VOC Spares Co bills. Please note, the following lots were originally fitted to this machine: 73, a pair of 18" wheels to suit Vincent 85, a Garrard Grand Prix single seat sidecar
Auction information

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