c.1953 Vincent 998cc Series C Black Shadow
Frame no. RC/11818B (see text)
Engine no. F10AB/1B/9918
Rear frame no. RC11818B
Crankcase mating no. A112V
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.
This Shadow's main frame was replaced with a factory-supplied (and unstamped) part after original owner Stuart Evans rode the machine onto a porch (after the clutch stuck) and broke the frame. Evans traded the machine with Lex du Pont for a 650cc Triumph. Lex only rode the Vincent for 17 miles (with his brother Everitt riding pillion) but dropped it avoiding a car, which then drove over the front wheel, hence the non-original replacement. Currently displaying a recorded mileage of only 3,034, the Shadow boasts an original Feridax seat and retains its factory paintwork on the gas tank. Most importantly, the machine is offered with its original frame and a quantity of spare parts, and comes with Certificate of Title.
- Please note that this bike is titled under its engine number.