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Bonhams 1793 Ltd – Motorcycle dept
101 New Bond Street, London
W1S 1SR
Tel:  02081280201
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1951 Vincent 998cc Series-C Rapide For Sale by Auction

Originally built to 'touring' specification An older restoration Requires re-commissioning Ever since the Series A's arrival in 1937, the Vincent v-twin has been synonymous with design innovation, engineering excellence and superlative high performance. From Rollie Free's capture of the 'world's fastest production motorcycle' record in 1948 on a tuned 'Series B' Black Shadow to the final fully enclosed 'Series D' Black Knight and Black Prince, Philip Vincent's stress on appearance and performance is legendary. His machines bristled with innovative features including adjustable footrests, brake pedal, seat height and gear-change lever. The finish was to a very high standard commensurate with the cost of the machine, which was virtually double that of any of its contemporaries. But above all else it was the v-twin's stupendous performance that captivated motorcyclists, whether they could afford one or not. With a top speed approaching 120mph, and bettering it in the Black Shadow's case, the Vincent v-twin was the fastest road vehicle of its day. In 1948 the Vincent range began to be up-dated from 'Series B' to 'Series C' specification. The most significant changes made concerned the suspension, there being a revised arrangement at the rear incorporating curved lugs for the seat stays and an hydraulic damper between the spring boxes, while at the front the new models boasted Vincent's own 'Girdraulic' fork: a blade-type girder fitted with twin hydraulic dampers. These advances began to find their way onto production models during 1948 but it would be 1950 before all Vincents left the factory in 'Series C' specification.

This matching-numbers Rapide comes with a copy of its Works Record Card revealing that it was originally built with touring handlebars; black steel mudguards; 3.50x19" front and 4.00x18" rear wheels; and sidecar equipment. Completed in December 1951, it was despatched to Reynolds in Liverpool that same month. The machine has since been restored to what might be termed 'mainstream' specification, while noteworthy non-standard features include battery/coil ignition; a Black Shadow-type Smiths 150mph speedometer; and a Series D centre stand. Unfortunately, it is not known how long the Vincent has been in the deceased owner's private collection or when it was last used. The most recent of four old MoTs on file expired in 1993 and the late owner's maintenance notes were last updated in 2017. Unused for some considerable time, the machine will require recommissioning or restoration to a greater or lesser extent and is sold strictly as viewed. Accordingly, prospective bidders must satisfy themselves as to the condition and completeness prior to bidding. Offered with a current V5C document.

This motorcycle is to be auctioned at our Live and Online Winter Sale, Hanger 113, Bicester Heritage, OX26 5HA.

SALE TIMES

Friday 11 December
Spares & Memorabilia (Lot 1 - 112) 9am
The National Motorcycle Museum Reserve Collection (Lots 201 – 252) 11am


Saturday 12 December
Motorcycles (Day 2) (Lots 501 – 708) 10am



VIEWING
In light of the current government guidelines and relaxed measures we are delighted to welcome viewing, strictly by appointment. All the lots will be on view at Bicester Heritage in our traditional Hangar 113. We will ensure social distancing measures are in place, with gloves and sanitiser available for clients wishing to view motorcycle history files.


Please contact Bonhams Motorcycles by clicking 'Message the seller' with your preferred date, time and vehicle registration number to book an appointment.


VIEWING TIMES
Wednesday 9 December 9am to 5pm
Thursday 10 December 9am to 5pm
Friday 11 December 9am to 5pm (Lots 501 – 708 only)


LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION

Please note that whilst public viewing is available by appointment, the auction itself will be conducted from a remote saleroom, behind closed doors without public access, in accordance with the current government guidelines. All bidding will be conducted via Online, Telephone and Absentee Bidding. Please contact our Bids Department to register using the 'Message the seller' button.


COLLECTION OF PURCHASED LOTS

Motorcycle lots must be cleared from the sale venue by 2pm Sunday 13 December 2020. Limited collection is available until 2pm Monday 14 December, by appointment only. If collecting Monday, please access Bicester Heritage via the 'Main Gate', Buckingham Road, OX26 5HA. Please email us using the 'Message the seller' button with your collection or transport instructions as soon as possible following your successful bid. Failure to instruct Bonhams by the given time will result in your vehicle being uplifted to store at your expense, as detailed in the Conditions of Sale. Buyers should satisfy themselves that they have collected all relevant log books, documents and keys relating to their Lot(s) at time of collection.


AUCTION ADDRESS

Hangar 113
Bicester Heritage
Buckingham Road
Bicester
Oxfordshire
OX26 5HA
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