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Machine 1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince


Graham Smith

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
VOC Forum Moderator
Auction House
Bonhams
Location
The Autumn Stafford Sale, Stafford, Staffordshire County Showground
Date of Auction
20 October 2019
Lot Number
347
Price
£ 25,000 - 35,000 € 29,000 - 40,000
Auction Link
https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/25384/lot/347/
Registration no. TRC 6L
Frame no. RD 12611B Rear Frame No. Unstamped
Engine no. F10AB/1/7133 Crankcase Mating No's RR29/RR29
• Series-D Black Shadow frame; Series-C Rapide engine
• Present enthusiast ownership since circa 1976
• Engine rebuilt by Bob Dunne
• Numerous upgrades

Ever since the Series-A's arrival in 1937, the Vincent v-twin had been synonymous with design innovation, engineering excellence and superlative high performance. So in September 1955 when it was revealed that production of the Stevenage-built machines would cease, the news stunned the motorcycling world. It had been decided that the firm's future lay in more profitable lines of manufacture, and just 100 more of the fabulous v-twins would be completed. By the time its demise was announced, Vincent's final twin - the Series-D - had been in production for just six months.
It had been Philip Vincent's belief that provision of ample weather protection combined with enclosure of engine and gearbox, would make the Vincent Series-D the ultimate 'gentleman's motorcycle', though delayed delivery of the glassfibre panels - plus continuing demand for traditionally-styled models - resulted in over half the production leaving the Stevenage factory in un-enclosed form. The enclosed Rapide and Black Shadow were known as Black Knight and Black Prince respectively. Other Series-D innovations included a new frame and rear suspension, a user-friendly centre stand, plus many improvements to the peerless v-twin engine. When production ceased in December 1955, around 460 Series-D v-twins had been built, some 200 of which were enclosed models.

As confirmed by accompanying Vincent HRD Owners Club correspondence, frame number 'RD 12611B' originally belonged to a Series-D Black Shadow made in 1955, while engine number 'F10AB/1/7133' is that of a Series-C Rapide made in June 1951. Subsequently modified to 'Black Prince' specification with that model's characteristic enclosures, it was rebuilt by a previous owner and reregistered in 1973. The machine was acquired by the current owner circa 1976. In common with many Vincent twins, this example incorporates numerous upgrades including improved enclosures; dashboard instrumentation; alloy brake sleeves; Amal Concentric Mk2 carburettors; a modern multi-plate clutch; 18" Borrani alloy wheel rims; flashing indicators; 12-volt electrics; electric starter; and electronic ignition.

During the present ownership the engine has been rebuilt by recognised Vincent specialist Bob Dunn to include new cylinders (liners/muffs), pistons and valves. 'TRC 6L' has also completed two tours of New Zealand with the Vincent Owners Club. Benefiting from long-term enthusiast ownership and a 'no expense spared' attitude to maintenance, the machine is offered with a VOC dating certificate and V5C registration document. We are advised that the Vincent last ran 10 years ago and will require recommissioning to a greater or lesser extent.
Screenshot 2019-10-20 at 22.33.25.pngScreenshot 2019-10-20 at 22.33.17.pngScreenshot 2019-10-20 at 22.33.10.pngScreenshot 2019-10-20 at 22.32.26.pngScreenshot 2019-10-20 at 22.32.15.pngScreenshot 2019-10-20 at 22.32.07.pngScreenshot 2019-10-20 at 22.32.01.pngScreenshot 2019-10-20 at 22.31.53.pngScreenshot 2019-10-20 at 22.31.45.pngScreenshot 2019-10-20 at 22.31.38.pngScreenshot 2019-10-20 at 22.31.31.pngScreenshot 2019-10-20 at 22.31.24.png
 
Last edited:

peter holmes

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
That's been well and truly butchered in my opinion
I think that is a bit harsh, as I take a good look at it I think it is real riders machine, I think the dashboard indicator warning lights are an excellent addition along with the indicators, everywhere you look there are sensible modifications, I don't like the Royal Enfield Continental GT type brake cooling discs, but without the holes, the saddle would be to tall for me, but it would appear that it did not sell at a starting auction estimate of £25k, an absolute bargain for someone that does not require a concours machine.
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
There are some interesting mods to this bike in addition to those picked up by Peter above. In particular someone has put a lot of effort into modifying the tops of both side panels to make them a better fit to the base of the fuel tank and to the front top of the rear cowl. Where there is normally an irregularly shaped hole in each side to allow access to the fuel taps someone has done some serious work to get rid of these irregular holes, There is a knurled knob in each side which, I assume, allows operation of the taps. In addition, the gold lines have been modified to follow a different route to the standard. With all this work it is surprising that whoever did this work did not modify the lifting mechanism on the centre stand. The original is badly designed and causes the cable to be forced back into the front of the rear cowl where it damaged the fibreglass. Eddie Stevens describes a way round this
 

ClassicBiker

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I like really like how the turn indicator light have been incorporated into the body work. I think it is rather clever. It also appears to have a larger alternator as well, you can see the back side of it in the first picture.
Steven
 

stu spalding

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
The "alternator" is a Fiat dynamo. I've got one for sale, £150 ready to fit, if anyone's interested. Cheers, Stu.
 

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