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Lot 370: c1948 Vincent-HRD 998cc Rapide

Sale of Collectors' Motorcycles, Bonhams & Butterfields (12 November 2005)

The magnificent Vincent v-twin has been synonymous with design innovation, engineering excellence and superlative high performance ever since the Series A’s arrival in 1936. 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.

Vincent works records show that Series B frame ‘R2961’ left the factory in September 1948 bound for Du Toit in South Africa, while engine ‘F10AB/1/1971’ is from a Series C Rapide completed in March 1949. The machine is presented in a dismantled state and offered for restoration. We are advised that all big-end and engine bearings have been renewed and cranks trued, gearbox bearings renewed where required, pistons found to be almost new and fitted with new rings. New valve guides, lock rings and lead-free valve seats have been fitted, and the engine assembled according to the manufacturer’s specifications by a qualified motorcycle mechanic. Although the machine is described as ‘complete’, prospective purchasers are strongly advised to satisfy themselves, prior to bidding, with regard to the extent of the correctness, originality and completeness of the machine, which is sold strictly as viewed.

Lot Details
Auction Sale of Collectors' Motorcycles
Bonhams & Butterfields, Petersen Museum, Los Angeles, CA
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number370
Estimate$20000-$30000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$20000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$23000
Year
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number
Engine numberF10AB/1/1971
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors