1951 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow
Registration no. FFR 69
Frame no. RC9234B (see text)
Engine no. F10AB/1B/7334
A good Shadow is no anti-climax: it exudes class and performance. Classic Bike magazine testing FFR 69 in 2007.
Ever since the Series As arrival in 1937, the Vincent v-twin has been synonymous with design innovation, engineering excellence and superlative high performance. Nevertheless, even the most fastidious of manufacturers sometimes makes mistakes and this Series-C Black Shadow is a case in point, its frame number having been incorrectly stamped at the factory. On the works record card, RC9234B has been written over a crossed out entry - RC9224B - but although this mistake was corrected on the rear frame, the second 2 being over-stamped by a 3, it was not corrected on the main frame member (see copies of the works records, VOC correspondence and Certificate of Authenticity on file). Engine and crankcase mating numbers are correct. The Shadow was despatched to Whittakers of Blackpool and registered FFR 69, a Blackpool Borough Council mark.
The current vendor bought the machine in January 2000 from Mrs Mary Haigh, who had owned it for six years (receipt on file). Owners prior to Mrs Haigh were John Ruff (1989-1994) and Ernest Wright. Mr Wrights name appears on an old-style (post-1971 type) logbook photocopy on file but it is not known whether or not he was the first owner. Accompanying invoices appear to indicate that the Vincent was restored by John Weedon in the late 1980s prior to its sale to John Ruff. Since its acquisition by the current owner, the Shadow has been fastidiously maintained, as evidenced by numerous bills contained within the comprehensive history file (inspection recommended). So it comes as no surprise to learn that FFR 69 was chosen as an excellent representative of the marque for Classic Bike magazines feature (July 2007 edition, copy available). The Shadow has also featured in a VOC DVD (copy available).
Last taxed to 2012, the machine has continued to be ridden regularly on private roads and is described as in generally very good/excellent condition, starting and running well. Noteworthy upgrades include Borrani alloy wheel rims, VOC-supplied centre stand, stainless steel mudguards and an electronic voltage regulator. This well restored and equally well maintained Black Shadow is offered with Swansea V5C document and the aforementioned history file.
- This motorcycle has chromed wheel rims with painted and lined centres, not Borrani alloy rims as stated in the catalogue.