1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince Frame no. RD/12850/BD Engine no. F10AB/2B/10950

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Lot 168Ω
1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince
Frame no. RD/12850/BD Engine no. F10AB/2B/10950

Sold for US$ 103,500 inc. premium
1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince

Frame no. RD/12850/BD
Engine no. F10AB/2B/10950

• The ultimate Vincent motorcycle
• Formerly the property of Allan Mallinson, editor of MPH
• Purchased from Leif Alpsjö
• Registered in the UK

Ever since the Series-A's arrival in 1937, the Vincent v-twin had been synonymous with design innovation, engineering excellence and superlative high performance. So in September 1955 when it was revealed that production of the Stevenage-built machines would cease, the news stunned the motorcycling world. It had been decided that the firm's future lay in more profitable lines of manufacture, and just 100 more of the fabulous v-twins would be completed. By the time its demise was announced, Vincent's final twin - the Series-D - had been in production for just six months.

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. The enclosed Rapide and Black Shadow were known as Black Knight and Black Prince respectively. 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, around 460 Series-D v-twins had been built, some 200 of which were enclosed models.

Registered as '285 FML' in the UK, this Black Prince was formerly the property of Allan Mallinson, editor of the Vincent Owners Club's magazine, MPH, in whose hands it won several trophies for 'Best in Show'. A letter on file from Alan confirms his ownership. The machine was acquired directly from him circa 1969 by the internationally famous Swedish folk musician, Leif Alpsjö, who looked after it carefully for some 40 years. The history file contains plentiful paperwork and bills accumulated during his ownership, including some from marque specialists Harper Engines and Maughan Engineering.

The present owner bought the Vincent from Leif in August 2010 and rode it from Stockholm to his home in London, England, covering some 700 miles in three days and in all weathers. He recalls that it 'could hardly have been more comfortable and didn't miss a beat'. Once the Vincent was safely back in the UK, the rear shock absorber was replaced and the bodywork completely restored, the coachlining and badges being hand painted using genuine gold leaf. Kept as part of the owner's private collection, the Prince has only been ridden locally and occasionally to keep it in good order.

Saleroom notices

  • The frame number is RD/12850/BF.
Contacts
1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince Frame no. RD/12850/BD Engine no. F10AB/2B/10950
1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince Frame no. RD/12850/BD Engine no. F10AB/2B/10950
1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince Frame no. RD/12850/BD Engine no. F10AB/2B/10950
1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince Frame no. RD/12850/BD Engine no. F10AB/2B/10950
1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince Frame no. RD/12850/BD Engine no. F10AB/2B/10950
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