Lot 507: c.1948 Vincent 998cc Rapide Motorcycle Combination
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 Black Knight and Black Prince, Philip Vincent�s stress on appearance and performance is legendary. His machines bristled with innovative features: adjustable brake pedal, footrests, 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.
Not only the fastest �solo�, the Vincent v-twin, when hitched to an appropriately sporting �chair�, was also the quickest motorcycle combination of its day. This particular �outfit� comprises a Series-B Rapide attached to a Steib S500 single-seater sports sidecar, a pairing widely recognised as the most desirable combination possible. Vincent Owners Club records show that the frame �R2465� was despatched to Millars in Mitcham in February 1948, while the engine �F10AB/1/195� formed part of a Rapide sent to Eleanor Motors in August 1947. The combination was purchased by the current owner at Brooks� Sale at the Motorcycle World event, Beaulieu on 23rd July 2000 (Lot 2196) having been in the long-term ownership of a Mr Hilyard for the preceding 40-or-so years.
We are advised that the Rapide has been �Shadowised� with the correct pistons, carburettors, brakes and speedometer, and updated with the later Girdaulic front fork and Elton 12-volt alternator. Presented in excellent condition throughout, the machine was last fully serviced, by a Vincent specialist, three years ago when the clutch was replaced, carburettors overhauled, spark plugs replaced and a non-return valve fitted in the oil line. Not used since, it is offered with Swansea V5, SORN and a comprehensive history file containing parts list, restoration invoices, expired MoTs, photographs, etc, dating back many years.
Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles|
Bonhams, Olympia, London,
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||-|
|Registration number||JLB 878|
|Engine capacity (cc)|
|Engine - cylinders|
|Number of doors|