1951 Vincent 499cc Grey Flash Replica
Registration no. SPU 836 (see text)
Frame no. RC/1/8280
Engine no. F5AB/2A/6380
Rear Frame no. RC/1/8280
Crankcase mating no. 64W
Development work by factory tester George Brown, himself an accomplished racer, resulted in the Vincent Grey Flash: a tuned version of the Series C Comet single with a power output of 35bhp and a top speed in racing trim of 115mph. The 'Flash retained the overall look of the Comet roadster, with Vincent's distinctive Girdraulic front fork and cantilever rear suspension, but featured an Amal TT carburettor, Elektron magnesium-alloy brake plates and an eye-catching pale grey colour scheme. Success eluded the works Grey Flashes in both the 1950 and '51 Isle of Man TT races but the model chalked up some notable victories on mainland short circuits in the hands of factory apprentice John Surtees. Catalogued only for the 1949 and 1950 seasons, during which time a mere 31 were completed, the Grey Flash is one of the rarest and most desirable of post-war Vincents.
Originally a Comet, this replica Grey Flash comes with its original logbook recording that it was first registered to Raymond Way Motors Ltd of Seven Kings, Essex on 10th April 1951. It should be noted that this document incorrectly records both the frame and engine numbers (apparently a case of '6' and '8' being misread) as does the accompanying old-style Swansea V5, a not at all uncommon occurrence.
Previously forming party of a large private collection in the UK, the Vincent was purchased by the current owner at Bonhams' Stafford Sale in April 2011 (Lot 471) and is currently registered in France. Prospective purchasers should note that, despite the machine being exported, the registration 'SPU 396' still appears on the HPI and DVLA databases as assigned to it, which should facilitate the issue of a replacement V5C document. Presented in restored condition, the machine is offered with the aforementioned documentation, Vincent Spare Parts List Series B & C, Ron Kemp Parts Catalogue, Vincent Motor Cycle Spare Parts List (Harper Engines Ltd), expired MoT (1966-67) and French Carte Grise.