Property of a deceased's estate,1955 Vincent 998cc Rapide Series-D Frame no. RD12697 Engine no. F10AB/2/10797
Lot 312
Property of a deceased's estate,1955 Vincent 998cc Rapide Series-D
Registration no. PDF 161 Frame no. RD12697 Engine no. F10AB/2/10797
Sold for £56,350 (US$ 75,381) inc. premium

Lot Details
Property of a deceased's estate,1955 Vincent 998cc Rapide Series-D Frame no. RD12697 Engine no. F10AB/2/10797 Property of a deceased's estate,1955 Vincent 998cc Rapide Series-D Frame no. RD12697 Engine no. F10AB/2/10797
Property of a deceased's estate
1955 Vincent 998cc Rapide Series-D
Registration no. PDF 161
Frame no. RD12697
Engine no. F10AB/2/10797
Rear frame no. RD12697
Crankcase mating no. G54V

It had been Philip Vincent's belief that provision of ample weather protection combined with enclosure of engine and gearbox would make the Vincent Series D the ultimate 'gentleman's motorcycle', though delayed delivery of the glassfibre panels - plus continuing demand for traditionally styled models - resulted in over half leaving the Stevenage factory in un-enclosed form. Indeed, the un-enclosed Rapide and Black Shadow were the first Series D models to enter production (in March 1955) the enclosed Black Knight and Black Prince equivalents not appearing until April that year.

Notwithstanding the fact that, as far as Philip Vincent was concerned, the Series D was his finest design, the motorcycle-buying public greeted the innovative new models with suspicion, as is so often the case. Its creator's vision of the Series D as a two-wheeled Grande Routière just did not conform to the public's perception of the Vincent as the ultimate sports-bike. Sadly, the firm lost money on every machine made, and when production ceased in December 1955 only 460 Series D v-twins had been built, making these landmark, last-of-the-line models rare indeed.

The late owner acquired this Series D Rapide in December 1992 from the widow of Eric Monsma of Alperton, West London, who had bought it from marque specialists Conway Motors in June 1974 (original order form on file). The Vincent was red when acquired and we are advised that no evidence of black paint has been found beneath the red, suggesting that this motorcycle may be one of those Vincents periodically produced in small batches finished in this non-traditional colour scheme, mainly for the North American market. Noteworthy features of this particular machine include an Alton 12-volt generator, Grosset electric starter, electronic ignition and a Dave Hills centre stand (original stand included). The accompanying history file contains an old-style continuation logbook (issued 1962), a quantity of MoT certificates (most recent expired May 2013) and old/current V5/V5C registration documents together with sundry invoices, photocopied instruction sheets, technical literature, etc.
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