1951 Vincent 998cc Series-C Rapide For Sale by Auction
Present ownership since 1973 An older restoration Requires re-commissioning The outbreak of WW2 in 1939 brought production of all Series-A models to a halt, and when Vincent resumed production at the war's end it was with the all-new Series-B. Its rear suspension aside, the Series-A Vincent-HRD had been conventional enough: tubular steel frame, girder forks, separate gearbox, etc but with the Series B Messrs Vincent and Irving effectively established the marque's reputation for the defiance of convention in the pursuit of engineering excellence. For a start there was no 'frame' as such, merely a fabricated box attached to the cylinder heads that served as the oil tank and incorporated the headstock and attachment point for the rear springs. The gearbox was integral with the engine, and the swinging arm pivoted directly in the engine/gearbox casings, features commonplace today but unusual 60 years ago. Only in his retention of the pre-war Brampton girder fork did Phillip Vincent appear to be lagging behind other manufacturers, almost all of which had switched to telescopics, but this apparent shortcoming would soon be addressed by the introduction of the famous 'Girdraulic' fork. Introduced in 1946, the Vincent-HRD Series-B Rapide was immediately the fastest production motorcycle on sale 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 Series-C Rapide has belonged to the late owner since 1973, as evidenced by the old-style continuation logbook on file issued in 1960. An older restoration, the machine displays a total of 3,416 miles on the odometer and is offered for re-commissioning. It should be noted that the upper frame has been stamped with a non-factory font and is assumed to be a replacement. The crankcase mating numbers are correct. Additional documentation consists of old V5/V5C documents.
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)
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.
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