Property of a deceased's estate
1951 Vincent 998cc Rapide
Registration no. STW 635
Frame no. RC8370
Engine no. F10/AB/1/6470
Crankcase mating no. 0058
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: adjustable 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. With a top speed approaching 120mph, and bettering it in the Black Shadow's case, the Vincent v-twin was the fastest road vehicle of its day.
In 1948 the Vincent range began to be up-dated from Series B to Series C specification. The most significant changes made concerned the suspension, there being a revised arrangement at the rear incorporating curved lugs for the seat stays and an hydraulic damper between the spring boxes, while at the front the new models boasted Vincent's own 'Girdraulic' fork: a blade-type girder fitted with twin hydraulic dampers. These advances began to find their way onto production models during 1948 but it would be 1950 before all Vincents left the factory in Series C specification.
Its late owner purchased this Series C Rapide from Coburn & Hughes of Harringay, London N4 on 21st January 1970 (sales receipt on file). He was obviously a man unafraid to get his hands dirty, as evidenced by a notebook on file detailing numerous maintenance tasks undertaken between 1971 and 1978, with additional and final entries dated 1984. It is not known when the machine was last on the road, the only evidence being a tax disc that expired at the end of February 2000, while the most recent of six MoTs on file expired in 1991. The history file also contains a VOC Certificate of Authenticity confirming matching frame/engine numbers; assorted correspondence; DVLA paperwork; some magazines and press cuttings; spare parts list; and a photocopy of the old V5 registration document.
- The dating certificate offered with this lot is a copy only.