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Lot 456: Vincent Series-C Rapide

Grand Palais Sale, Bonhams (7 February 2013)

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. Although restored by its late owner, this Series-C Rapide will almost certainly require some re-commissioning before returning to the road. (There is an accompanying box containing some clutch spares and other items, suggesting that the clutch may need to be checked before use). Offered without reserve, the machine comes with UK V5 registration document. The Black Shadow-type Smiths 5" speedometer is a particularly noteworthy feature.

Lot Details
Auction Grand Palais Sale
Bonhams, Paris, France
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number456
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price€33000
Hammer Price (inc premium)€37950
Year1952
Condition rating
Registration numberCJX 544
Mileage-
Chassis numberRC10337/C
Engine numberF10AB/1/8437
Engine capacity (cc)998
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors