Vincent Black Shadow
c.1947 Vincent 998cc Rapide Series-B to 'Black Shadow' specification
Registration no. XBV 367
Frame no. R2272
Engine no. F10AB/1/1300
Rear frame no. R2463
Fully restored by the National Motorcycle Museum
Won as a raffle prize by the vendor
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 Vincent Rapide was rebuilt to Black Shadow specification by the National Motorcycle Museum's renowned restoration workshop, and following its completion was raffled to raise funds for the Museum. The NMM purchased the Vincent as a dismantled and incomplete restoration project from Bonhams' Sale at Stafford in October 2014 (Lot 308). It was noted at that time that the upper frame, rear frame and engine are not from the same motorcycle, dating from 1947, 1948, and 1949 respectively (all are from Series-B Rapides).
Carried out by the NMM's in-house restoration team and subsequently featured in Classic Bike magazine (copy article available), the rebuild, which took 6-7 months, was finished in time for the 'Museum Live' open day on Saturday 31st October 2015 when the raffle draw was made. Billed as 'the best classic motorcycle raffle prize in the world', this fully restored Vincent was won by the current vendor, who now offers it for sale. Presented in effectively 'as new' condition, the machine comes with a VOC Dating Certificate; copies of the Works Order Form and Engine Specification Sheet; copies of restoration invoices; a V5C registration document; and a copy of the aforementioned magazine article (perusal recommended). All of the style and performance of a genuine Black Shadow at a fraction of the cost.