Property of a deceased's estate
c.1939 Vincent-HRD 998cc Rapide Series-A
Frame no. DV1668
Engine no. DV1048
Rear frame no. DV1668
Crankcase mating no. 4
One of circa 78 made
Matching main and rear frames
An older restoration
The outbreak of WW2 in 1939 brought production of all Vincent-HRD Series-A models to a halt, and when the company resumed production in 1946, it was with the all-new Series-B. By July '39 when the last Series-A twin was built, the model had been in production for a little over 30 months, and the fact that so few were made has in no small part contributed to this legendary model's mythic status. Expert opinion differs with regard to the exact number produced but most authorities favour a total in the high 70s. By way of comparison, production of the rival Brough Superior SS100 ran into the hundreds.
The prototype Series-A Rapide was proudly displayed on Vincent's stand at the 1936 Motor Cycle Show at Olympia but only a handful were sold in 1937, the first full year of production, as the motorcycling public remained sceptical of the upstart firm's performance claims. This scepticism was soon dispelled by the exploits of the works Series-A racers piloted by Manliffe Barrington and 'Ginger' Wood, the latter shattering the Donington Park lap record in 1938 and returning a staggering standing quarter-mile time of 11.75 seconds at the Gatwick sprint. On the road the Series-A Rapide fulfilled all of its maker's expectations, proving capable of reaching 110mph, comfortably faster then the rival JAP-powered SS100. Around 50 Series-A Vincent v-twins survive worldwide today.
The example offered here consists of an engine that formed part of a Series-A Rapide that left the factory on 5th December 1938, while the frame is that of another despatched on 7th February 1939. The oil pump 'BD 468' is correct for engine 'V1048', while the gearbox is a Burman of the type used on Series-A models, but not the original for either engine 'V1048' or frame 'DV1668'. There are no documents with this Lot, which is sold strictly as viewed.