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Bonhams 1793 Ltd – Motorcycle dept
101 New Bond Street, London
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1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince For Sale by Auction

The ultimate Vincent v-twin Matching numbers One of the last Vincent motorcycles made 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 announced that production 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 only 100 more of the fabulous v-twins would be completed. Vincent's final v-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. When production ceased in December 1955, around 460 Series D v-twins had been built, some 200 of which were enclosed models.

Frame number '11121', this Black Prince is the 13th from last Vincent motorcycle made, having left the factory in December 1955. First owner Joseph Jenkins bought the Black Prince from the famous Vincent dealers Conway Motors of Shepherd's Bush, West London (see letter on file). An accompanying document lists a further seven owners including the current vendor, its owner since December 1998. The Black Prince was restored to its present condition in the late 1980s by Robin Blackwell and Phil Primmer for its then owner, Tim Pearcey. A record of all maintenance carried out since 1998 is in the file, which also contains instructions for the Grosset electric starter and electronic ignition distributor. An Alton generator provides reliable 12-volt electrics. The beautiful matching panniers were produced by Phil Primmer of West Country Sidecars of Fordingbridge, Hampshire, and larger-than-standard brakes have been fitted to enhance the stopping power. The engine is said to be in excellent condition, having been re-bored and fitted with new pistons in 2003, the cylinder heads being overhauled at the same time.

'SXA 919' has featured in The Classic Motor Cycle (August 1991 edition) and in Vincent Classic Motorcycles by Duncan Wherrett. The machine has also won numerous VOC concours awards, most recently at the Annual Rally in 2001 ('Best Series D'). Last run in September 2020, this ultimate Vincent v-twin is offered with a spare parts list; BMS workshop manual; sundry bills; copies of previous registration documents; and a current V5C.

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


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

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.

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


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.


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.


Hangar 113
Bicester Heritage
Buckingham Road
OX26 5HA
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