1937 Vincent-HRD 500cc Series-A Meteor Frame no. D1252 Engine no. C935

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Lot 443
1937 Vincent-HRD 500cc Series-A Meteor
Registration no. FMF 273 Frame no. D1252 Engine no. C935

Sold for £ 21,850 (US$ 29,008) inc. premium
1937 Vincent-HRD 500cc Series-A Meteor
Registration no. FMF 273
Frame no. D1252
Engine no. C935
The Vincent-HRD marque originated in 1928 when Philip C Vincent acquired the name, jigs, tools and patterns of the recently liquidated HRD Company. (‘HRD’ stood for Howard Raymond Davies, the Isle of Man TT winner who had founded the firm in 1924). Like Davies before him, Vincent relied on proprietary engines until increasing dissatisfaction with suppliers led to the creation of Vincent’s own in 1934. An overhead-valve, 500cc single, this all-new power unit was designed jointly by PCV and his Chief Engineer Phil Irving. Messrs Vincent and Irving brought fresh thinking to the design of what would become known as the Series-A motor, opting for a relatively short stroke of 90mm coupled to an 84mm bore, a high-set camshaft and two guides for each valve with the rocker arm engaging between them; the sum of all these features resulting in a compact engine with considerable scope for tuning. The names ‘Meteor’ and ‘Comet’ were chosen for the touring and sports versions respectively of the stylish new Vincent-HRD, which had not even been started, let alone ridden, when it was first exhibited at the 1934 Motor Cycle Show at Olympia. Fortunately, during the Show a tester achieved a speed of 90mph on a Comet, a highly respectable figure for a 500cc sports roadster and one that fully justified Philip Vincent’s prior performance claims. In the 1935 Isle of Man Senior TT, three of the new Vincent-HRDs finished in 7th, 9th and 12th places, demonstrating that they possessed reliability as well as speed. Sales increased steadily, but the Vincent was an expensive and exclusive product, and ownership remained the privilege of a wealthy few.

Production of all Series-A Vincent-HRDs ceased on the outbreak of WW2, and today the single-cylinder Meteor and Comet – the machines that effectively kick-started the Vincent legend – are highly prized by discerning collectors.

A 1937 model fitted with a Comet engine believed to date from 1938, this Vincent-HRD Meteor was purchased in the late 1950s by the current owner, who sold it to a friend in 1964 only to buy it back four years later. The machine remained untouched thereafter until 2002 when its restoration commenced. We are advised by the private vendor that the frame, forks, engine, gearbox, magdyno, carburettor, wheels, etc were stripped down and any worn or damaged parts replaced. The wheels were rebuilt, new tyres, tubes and chains fitted and the machine re-sprayed. Only 382 miles have been covered since the work’s completion in 2006 and the machine remains in good condition throughout. Offered with old-style continuation logbook, sundry restoration invoices, current MoT/road fund licence and Swansea V5 document, ‘FMF 273’ represents a rare opportunity to acquire one of the legendary Vincent-HRD Series-A singles.
1937 Vincent-HRD 500cc Series-A Meteor Frame no. D1252 Engine no. C935
1937 Vincent-HRD 500cc Series-A Meteor Frame no. D1252 Engine no. C935
1937 Vincent-HRD 500cc Series-A Meteor Frame no. D1252 Engine no. C935
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