c.1949 Vincent 998cc Series B Rapide
Registration no. EGC 1B
Frame no. R3110
Engine no. F10AB/1/1735
Rear frame no. RC/1/6760
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.
This Series-B Rapide was purchased from Atlantic Motor Cycles of Twyford on 14th December 1982 (purchase receipt on file) and was last MoT'd in 1983 when the mileage was recorded as 190 (the 'Shadow speedometer's current odometer reading is 1,833 miles). We are advised that its overall condition is very good and that only gentle re-commissioning should be required. The machine is offered with two V5 registration documents (one relating to a registration number that was sold); expired MoT (1984); copies of Vincent-related literature; spare parts price lists; maintenance information; workshop manual for Vincent-HRD Motorcycles 1947-1955; and a programme from the first National Classic Bike Show, October 1980.
- The Registration is 7684 TU. The Rear Frame Number is RC/1/6760.