1953 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow
Registration no. 160 AMU
Frame no. RC/11218/
Engine no. F10AB/1B/9318
Rear Frame no. RC/11218/B
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 Black Shadow comes with a copy of its Works Order Form showing that it was shipped new to the Indian Sales Corporation in San Francisco, ISC being Vincent's US importer at that time. An older restoration, the machine was purchased by the current vendor in September 2005 and last taxed until the end of August 2008. '160 AMU' has seen little use in recent years because of the owner's deteriorating health, though it has been kept in dry storage and started regularly. Serviced recently and said to run well, the machine is offered with the aforementioned copy Works Order Form and Swansea V5C document.
- It has not been possible to locate Crankcase Mating Numbers on the machine. The Frame number is RC/11218/B.