1952 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow
Frame no. RC10581BC
Engine no. F10AB/1B/8681
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 gearshift lever. The finish was to a very high standard commensurate with the machine's cost, 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.
Copies of factory records kept by the Vincent Owners Club confirm that Black Shadow with frame number 'RC10581BC' and engine number 'F10AB/1B/8681' was despatched new to the USA in 1952. Previously registered to Mr Jack Ponder in California, this Series-C Black Shadow was next owned by Washington resident Michael Glosser, from whom it was purchased by the current vendor in January 2012. Mr Glosser acquired the Vincent in the early 1980s and had it restored in a few years later, the engine rebuild being entrusted to respected UK marque specialists, Maughan & Sons. Bills and a complete list of parts used in the restoration are available together with a summary of further refurbishment carried out in 2012. Only 11,708 miles have been covered since the rebuild's completion in 1987. The machine is offered with the aforementioned parts bills, starting instructions, old Californian registration papers and current New Mexico Certificate of Title.