Year of manufacture1951
1951 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow
Registration no. FUH 899
Frame no. RC/8948B/C
Engine no. F10/AB/1B/7048
Rear frame no. RC/8948B/C
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, offering adjustment of 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. The appeal of the Vincent, and the Black Shadow in particular, lay in its ability to out-perform just about every other vehicle on the road, and in the early post-war years there was nothing to compare with it. This was a time when the average family sedan was barely capable of reaching 70mph, and not until the advent of Jaguar's XK120 was there a production sports car that could live with the thundering v-twins from Stevenage. With a top speed approaching 120mph, and bettering it in the Black Shadow's case, the Vincent v-twin was quite simply the fastest road vehicle of its day.
This 'barn find' Black Shadow was purchased by the current vendor in Cardiff in 1966 and ridden, albeit sparingly, for the next three years, covering some 600 miles only. In 1970 the Vincent was prepared for storage and since then has been kept in a dry garage, its condition checked regularly. Last taxed for the road to November 30th 1969, the machine is offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed. Accompanying paperwork consists of an expired MoT (1969) and V5C registration document. Please see Lot 111 for the Steib sidecar previously fitted to this machine.