1955 Vincent 998cc Rapide Series D  Frame no. D12634 Engine no. F10AB/2/10734

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Lot 602
1955 Vincent 998cc Rapide Series D
Registration no. WBB 224 Frame no. D12634 Engine no. F10AB/2/10734

Sold for £ 23,000 (US$ 28,135) inc. premium
1955 Vincent 998cc Rapide Series D
Registration no. WBB 224
Frame no. D12634
Engine no. F10AB/2/10734
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 the production leaving the Stevenage factory in un-enclosed form. Other Series D innovations included a new frame and rear suspension, a user-friendly centre stand, plus many improvements to the peerless v-twin engine. When production ceased in December 1955, 528 Series D v-twins had been built, 233 of which were enclosed models.

Alan Dodsworth was employed as Works Superintendent at Westland Helicopters when he acquired this Rapide Series D as a restoration project in June 1967 for the nowadays barely credible sum of £25! The Vincent had been in collision with a car, the impact wrecking the front wheel and inflicting the usual damage on controls, footrests, etc, but had left the Girdraulic forks totally intact, a testament to the soundness of their design and quality of construction. As well as restoring the Rapide to former glory, a process that took a few years, Alan later incorporated several upgrades including Amal Concentric carburettors, Slater Norton clutch and modified ignition. The story of the Rapide’s rebuild was recorded in a five-page article (‘Sweet Clean Vincent’) in the April 1988 edition of British Bike Mechanics magazine, a copy of which comes with it.

Its enthusiastic owner used the Rapide regularly, taking part in Vincent Owners Club and VMCC rallies; visiting the Isle of Man for the TT and Manx Grand Prix; and taking part in the Festival of 1000 Bikes at Brands Hatch. Some time after completion - in 1985 - one of the big-ends failed, necessitating an engine rebuild that included a re-bore and new bottom-end bearings, while Alan’s service notes covering the period January 1993 (17,954 miles) to August 2003 (31,099 miles) detail his customary fastidious maintenance. Significant works carried out during this period included primary drive/clutch rebuild; timing gears overhaul; and the fitting of reconditioned front/rear dampers. This Rapide has spent 39 of its 51 years in Alan Dodsworth’s hands, and there can be no doubt that it has benefited greatly from his careful long-term ownership.

The Dodsworth Vincent Rapide comes with a substantial history file including the 1967 bill of sale; old-style continuation logbook (1965) recording one preceding private owner; expired MoT (1965); and Vincent-HRD Owners Club correspondence and Certificate of Authenticity confirming matching engine/frame numbers. Also contained within the file are 13 expired MoTs covering the period 1986 to 2005; SORNs for 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06; Vincent-HRD owners Club machine badge; and old/new Swansea V5 registration documents. Retaining its original registration mark ‘WBB 224’, this machine represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a matching-numbers Vincent Rapide Series D offered from long-term enthusiast/engineer ownership.
1955 Vincent 998cc Rapide Series D  Frame no. D12634 Engine no. F10AB/2/10734
1955 Vincent 998cc Rapide Series D  Frame no. D12634 Engine no. F10AB/2/10734
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25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £300,000 up to and including £3,000,000;
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