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The Quail Auction / 1950 Vincent Rapide Series C To Black Shadow Specification Frame no. UFM RC7669B / RFM RC10259/C Engine no. F10AB/1/4996

Lot 2
1950 Vincent Rapide Series C To Black Shadow Specification
19 August 2022, 11:00 PDT
Carmel, Quail Lodge & Golf Club

Lot to be sold without reserve

US$65,000 - US$85,000

Ask about this lot

1950 Vincent Rapide Series C To Black Shadow Specification
Frame no. UFM RC7669B / RFM RC10259/C
Engine no. F10AB/1/4996

998cc 4-Stroke Air-cooled 2-Cyliner Engine
2 Amal Carburetors
Est 55bhp
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Girdraulic Front Fork - Cantilever Rear Suspension
Front and Rear Mechanical Drum Brakes

*Faithfully built by specialist 'Harris Vincent Gallery'
*Full restoration performed to correct factory specifications
*Lightning fast, top-of-the line motorcycle of the finest quality

The outbreak of WW2 in 1939, had brought production of all Series A models to a halt, and when Vincent-HRD resumed production at the war's end, it was with the all-new Series B. Its rear suspension aside, the Series A Vincent-HRD had been conventional enough: tubular steel frame, girder forks, separate gearbox etc., but with the Series B, Philip Vincent and Chief Engineer Phil Irving effectively established the marque's reputation for the defiance of convention in the pursuit of engineering excellence. For a start there was no 'frame' as such, merely a fabricated box attached to the cylinder heads, that served as the oil tank and incorporated the headstock and the attachment point for the rear springs. The gearbox was integral with the engine, and the swinging arm pivoted directly in the engine/gearbox casings, features commonplace today but unusual 60 years ago. Only in his retention of the pre-war Brampton girder fork did Phillip Vincent appear to be lagging behind other manufacturers, almost all of which had switched to telescopics, but this apparent shortcoming would soon be addressed by the introduction of the famous 'Girdraulic' fork.

Deliveries commenced in the spring of 1948, and only around 70-or-so Series B Black Shadows had been made before the Series C's public debut at that year's Earl's Court Motorcycle Show. The most significant changes made concerned the suspension, there being a revised arrangement at the rear incorporating curved lugs for the seat stays and a 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, by which time references to 'HRD' were being phased out. Only 42 'Vincent-HRD' branded Series C Black Shadows are known to the Vincent Owners Club compared with 70 known Series Bs.

The Black Shadow was indeed a legend in its own lifetime, and in the half-century since production ceased, the esteem in which this iconic motorcycle is held has only increased, fueling the demand among discerning collectors for fine examples of the marque, such as that offered here.

This superb Black Shadow-spec'd Vincent was entirely restored and assembled by marque specialist Harris Vincent Gallery from Austin, TX. Purchased by the seller back in 2007, the bike was preserved in its collection and appears today as freshly restored as it was back 15 years ago.
Built from three different Vincent's, this Vincent is made of an upper frame coming from a Series C Black Shadow that was dispatched to Indian sales corp. in New Orleans in January 1951, a rear frame coming from a 1952 Series C Touring Rapide, dispatched to Indian sales corp. in New Orleans in January 1952, and an engine coming from a Series C Rapide, dispatched to dealer Wellesley in Canada in October 1950.
Although originating from a Rapide, the engine present on the bike received the full Black Shadow treatment by HVG. The entire bike bears the Black Shadow look, as shown by the black handlebar, black engine and obviously the 150mph speedometer.

Saleroom notices

Please note, this motorcycle is titled by its engine number F10AB14998.

Additional information