1951 Vincent 998cc Series C Black Shadow  Frame no. RC7316B Engine no. F10AB/1B/5416

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Lot 164
1951 Vincent 998cc Series C Black Shadow
Registration no. LNF 830 Frame no. RC7316B Engine no. F10AB/1B/5416

Sold for £ 69,150 (US$ 89,073) inc. premium
1951 Vincent 998cc Series C Black Shadow
Registration no. LNF 830
Frame no. RC7316B
Engine no. F10AB/1B/5416
The select band of motorcyclists who could afford to purchase the sensational Series C Black Shadow for a massive £402 in 1951 were duly warned not to exceed 105mph in third gear! At a time when the average family saloon would run out of steam at 70mph only Jaguar’s XK120 and Aston Martin’s DB2 came close to keeping up with the fabulously quick, thundering V-twin on the open road.

The pre-war Series A Vincent-HRD – ‘the plumber’s nightmare’ – had caused a sensation in 1937, setting a pattern for innovation, build quality and high performance which was to remain synonymous with the name Vincent throughout. Motoring journalist L J K Setright wrote in 1970 – ‘well into the 1960’s and even today, when it is wrapped in a mystique carefully cultivated by thousands of fanatically enthusiastic owners, the big Vincent retained that commanding air about it when you met one on the road, and many a rider of avowedly super-sporting machinery would be humiliated by having some much older Black Shadow come past at the canter.’ Ever conscious of the massive value of publicity, Vincent made much of Rollie Free’s World’s Fastest Production Motorcycle Record in 1948, riding John Edgar’s Black Shadow in America at a speed of 150.313mph, claiming that his boots reduced this achievement by no less than 0.5mph!

The Black Shadow was distinctive in appearance with its black-enamelled crankcases, its highly tuned engine out-performing Rapides on the open road and in all respects the Black Shadow reflected the outstanding build quality of the marque, more than justifying its price tag, which at the time would have bought a perfectly good family motor car.

This matching numbers machine comes with a Certificate of Authenticity from the Vincent Owners’ Club Machine Registrar, confirming the date of manufacture as 1950. Copies of Vincent Works Order Form records show that RC7316B was road tested and completed at the factory on 17th November 1950, destined for Vincent dealers, Kings of Manchester, to whom it was despatched by rail. The machine was first registered in Manchester on 16th January 1951 and the old buff log book dating from 1959 records that at one stage a sidecar was fitted. In 1959 the machine was owned by J P Evans of Wrexham and it moved quickly between six owners, including two motorcycle dealers, over the next five years. In 1964 it belonged to one J E Broster of Moreton Wirral and it appears that some 33 years later it passed into enthusiast ownership in Surrey. During the period 1997/1998 major restoration work was completed during that ownership, including much mechanical work and an engine rebuild as required, returning this important motorcycle to the road and to substantially original specification in all major respects. Detailed invoices and notes relating to this restoration are on file along with a wonderful period photograph showing a similar machine with sidecar attachment in competition – this photograph may or may not be the machine offered today. Expired MoTs offered with the bike suggest last active use in the late 1990s and this machine joined the Ward Brothers Collection in 2002. It comes with a Swansea registration document and the aforementioned old style buff log book.
1951 Vincent 998cc Series C Black Shadow  Frame no. RC7316B Engine no. F10AB/1B/5416
1951 Vincent 998cc Series C Black Shadow  Frame no. RC7316B Engine no. F10AB/1B/5416
1951 Vincent 998cc Series C Black Shadow  Frame no. RC7316B Engine no. F10AB/1B/5416
1951 Vincent 998cc Series C Black Shadow  Frame no. RC7316B Engine no. F10AB/1B/5416
1951 Vincent 998cc Series C Black Shadow  Frame no. RC7316B Engine no. F10AB/1B/5416
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