1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897

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Lot 285
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet
Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897

US$ 24,000 - 28,000
€ 21,000 - 25,000
Amended
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet

Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897

• Matching-numbers example
• Fitted with Birmabright alloy fenders and touring handlebars

The Vincent HRD brand originated in 1928 when Philip C. Vincent acquired the name, jigs, tools and patterns of the recently liquidated HRD Company. Vincent moved production from Wolverhampton to Stevenage and set about putting his motorcycle design ideas into practice, commencing with an innovative sprung frame that would remain a feature of Vincent motorcycles until production ceased in 1955.

Like others, Vincent relied on proprietary engines until increasing dissatisfaction with suppliers led to the creation of Vincent's own motor in 1934. An overhead-valve 500cc single, this all-new power unit was designed jointly by Vincent and Chief Engineer Phil Irving. The duo 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 Comet and Meteor were chosen for the sports and touring versions respectively of the stylish new Vincent HRD.

Production was stopped for WWII, then restarted soon after with the short-lived Series B Comets, which soon gave way to the successful Series C singles, built from 1948 to '54. Effectively a Rapide V-twin minus its rear cylinder, the Comet offered the same degree of refinement as its bigger brother, albeit with reduced performance. Even so, the Comet combined a 90mph potential with excellent fuel economy, and was the ideal touring mount for the discerning solo rider who placed civility of manners and quality of construction above outright performance. Apart from the missing cylinder, the Comet followed Series C twin lines, the model featuring the newly introduced Girdraulic forks and hydraulic dampers at front and rear. An expensive machine to produce, it did not sell as well as its maker had hoped and was dropped when the Series D was introduced for 1954.

The Series C Comet on offer here is a 1951 model (titled as a 1950), a remarkably complete, matching-numbers barn-find discovered in Idaho where it ended up after being brought over from England sometime in the 1960s. It wears sporty Birmabrite alloy fenders and higher touring handlebars. We're informed both engine and transmission are free, presenting the prospective buyer an interesting choice: Get the bike running in situ to create a rideable survivor, or use its excellent underpinnings as the basis for a full restoration.

Saleroom notices

  • The frame number is RC/1/7797. The engine number is F5AB/2A/5897.
Contacts
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
1951 Vincent 499cc Series C Comet Frame no. F5AB/2A/5897
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