Lot 205 - 1949 Vincent Rapide Series B
|Odometer reading||203 miles|
|Estimate||£36,000 - £42,000|
The Vincent Rapide is a motorcycle designed and built at the works in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England, during the Second World War and released to the press before end of hostilities. The prototype was the Series A 47.5° V-twin launched in 1936 and produced 45bhp. It is often purported that Phil Irving was trying to find a replacement for the 500cc Vincent Comet engine. Its frame incorporated the first cantilever rear suspension used on all subsequent Vincents. Other innovations included a foot gearchange instead of a hand-operated gear-lever, a four-speed gearbox instead of two or three and a side stand.
The high power meant that the gearbox and clutch did not cope well and it was developed into the 'Series B' which had internal oil pipes and the gearbox integrated with the engine casting. Vincent used quickly detachable wheels making wheel and tyre changes easier. The Series C, which Vincent produced from 1949 until 1954, featured a 998cc V-twin that put out between 45 and 55 horsepower depending on the state of tune, while period tests demonstrated that the bike was easily capable of speeds in excess of 100mph.
This beautifully restored example was acquired by the vendor some 18 months ago after a lengthy restoration by the previous owner, a Mr. Brian Hayward of Calne, Wiltshire. He had custody for some 44 years and commissioned a rebuild during that time by noted specilist, Tony Maughan. Some time prior to 1970, a slightly earlier engine was fitted and that unit remains in the machine to this day. It has been converted to a 12 volt system and benefits from Black Shadow front brakes, a desirable upgrade. The history file details the parts used for this and includes the addition of a tread down centre stand and the highly desirable 5" speedometer and rev. counter. The upper and rear frame members both match and the paperwork also includes a period rider's handbook for the 'B' and 'C' series machines as well as old MoT test certificates and UK registration documents. Full of purpose, exquisitely presented and extremely collectable, the Vincent Rapide represents a cornerstone of any serious collection not to mention a fabulous ride.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.