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Lot 609: 1948 Vincent 998cc Rapide

Collectors' Motor Cars, Bonhams (10 September 2005)

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. This ‘matching numbers’ Series-B Rapide was transferred into Eric Housley’s private ownership in January 1998 and carries a tax disc dated December 1997. Ridden subsequently on private land only, the machine is ‘as purchased’ and appears substantially original, apart from polished mudguard stays and rear chain-guard, and the 19” front wheel. Offered with Swansea V5.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars
Bonhams, Beaulieu Autojumble, National Motor Museum, Hampshire
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number609
Estimate£9000-£11000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£17500
Hammer Price (inc premium)£20125
Year1948
Condition rating
Registration numberUSY 797
Mileage-
Chassis number
Engine numberF10AB/1/1694
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors