• Year of manufacture 
  • Motorcycle type 
  • Engine number 
  • Lot number 
  • Condition 
  • Colour  
  • Location


1954 Vincent 499cc Comet Series-C
Registration no. RNN 427
Frame no. RC1/1/1224B
Engine no. F5AB/2A/10343

rear frame no: RC1 /1 /1224B

• An un-molested, matching-numbers Comet
• A high-performance British classic
• Very well-maintained

The Vincent-H.R.D. name dates back to the 1920's when Howard R. Davies founded H.R.D. motorcycles in Wolverhampton, the company being taken over, as is well-known, by Philip Vincent in 1928, producing the definitive H.R.D.-Vincent range in 1936. Post-WW2, the Vincent shared some characteristics with its pre-war H.R.D. parent, but was in most areas a radical re-design. The earlier model had been a conventional motor cycle in most respects, particularly in the case of the '500' singles, the Comet and the Meteor. Post-war, both utilised the radical frame design of their larger stablemates, where the traditional British 'tube and lug' construction was replaced by a fabricated 'upper-frame member' with the characteristic Vincent triangular pivoting rear-frame, a concept first seen both in the 1880s on a pedal cycle and by Bentley and Draper in the '20s, but made both robust and effective by Vincent.

Where the 'singles' differed from the twins was in their use of a separated engine and a proprietary gear-box, in the roadster models a four-speed Burman. Despite the protests of 'half-a-twin' made by some twin owners, this had the advantages of allowing easy changes of gearbox for competition use and also resulting in a lighter, and, importantly, narrower motor cycle, for the many customers who found the big twin to be neither. A further advantage of the Comet and Meteor design was the use of engine internals from the twin. As a result, bottom-end problems are markedly less common with the single, a big advantage for many owners. As a result, the Comet achieved very respectable sales and has remained justifiably popular with enthusiasts for classic and high-quality British motor cycles.

RNN 427 has been, for many years, in the hands of a long-term, now deceased, Vincent owner, who regarded it with the same affection which he had for his Black Prince, also in this sale. He kept his Comet in excellent order, as can be seen, in later years having a fellow Vincent enthusiast and V.O.C. member collaborate in the necessary re-conditioning and maintenance of this very original machine. Very lightly used in recent years, it is understood to be in eminently roadworthy condition, subject, of course, to the necessary safety checks before further use, and is offered complete with a V5C for its Nottinghamshire number and a V.O.C. dating certificate.

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
United Kingdom
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department