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A Barnfind Vincent

Bruces Barnfind

Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
This thread is going to start with the statement.." I never in a million years thought I would be able to own a Vincent" They were motorcycles to be looked at from a distance...I belong to the AMCA and have several Harley Shovelheads and an XLCR Cafe Racer....I live in the very small town of Bennington Nebraska...Last Tuesday I sat down at 6 A.M. to peruse the local Craigslist ads and have a cup of coffee....About 5 listings down the page I came across an ad that read....1948 Vincent Black Shadow....10,000....I thought it must be a scam but the ad had a phone number ...The ad stated ..text/email or call....At 6:30 AM I did all three....A young man answered...Explained it had belonged to his Grandfather...His Grandfather had bought the bike in 1970,,rode it a few years and then the motor blew up...It had been sitting in his Grandparents basement since 1975....He told me his phone had 27 messages on it after he posted it the previous evening at 11 PM..But since I was the only person that had emailed/texted and called he would give me first crack at it....I told him I would take it and asked where he lived...He lived in another small town.. Irvington Nebraska...A little over 5 miles from my house...He told me to show up at his house at 8 am...Then,came the hard part...I didn't have but 3000 to my name...I called a friend at 7 and he agreed to loan me the money...At 8 I showed up at the young mans house and in his garage was a blue Vincent....The rear cyl was off and parts were in a bin...the bike was fairly complete with front and rear frames still attached to the motor.Had the girder forks all there....It had the parts from the motor in the bin...It looks like it swallowed a valve...but the bottom end looked perfect and the motor turned over with the kickstarter...The rod had some give side to side but was tight up and down...It had the gas tank and oil tank and exhaust in the bin..Now, remember,,,I don't know anything about Vincents other than I had one in front of me...I gave him a 2000 deposit and we struck a deal that if the title was good and it was as advertised we would settle up the next day...I ran the numbers and it turns out it is a 1948 Series B Rapide...It appears to have factory blue paint on it...Well, I pulled the trigger and now I own it....A couple of shovelheads went out the door to pay for it but ,Holy smokes.!! I own a Vincent!! From what I can tell it is missing the electrics/gauges and fenders....Very excited about what will be a multi year project...1st question for you guys is...Is there any way to tell what color my bike was from the factory...Most of it looks like original paint except the gas tank...Well, thanks in advance for any help and direction...Jeez, still catching my breath....Thanks again Bruce
 

Bazlerker

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Well Sir, Congratulations. The first thing to do is join the Vincent Owners Club. The club has all of the factory records and for a very small fee you can get a copy of the original build sheet, the road testers notes, and literally everything pertaining to the machine.
The second thing to do is to acquire a set of whitworth wrenches & sockets - Vincents use a different size nut and bolt from anything made in the U.S.A.. The Vincent Owners Club has a spares company that makes every part that you will require, I hasten to add that John Healy at Coventry Spares and Russ Kemp at Vintech, and a few others also sell anything that you require..
There are several Vincent restoration specialists in North America...Glenn Bewley in Tennessee, Sam Manganaro in Colorado, Phil Mahood is in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada.
You will find that this forum will be very useful, as well, of course. Feel free to send me a PM if you would like more info..
I think the closest vincent owners club section to you is in Minnesota, though there is one in California, and another in Texas.
 

Bruces Barnfind

Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Thank you very much,,I just joined before I posted...To celebrate a friend of mine gave me a set of Whitworth sockets and wrenches... I ordered a service manual online.I will join the VOC in Minnesota if they will have me...
 

jim burgess

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Congratulations and well done, it would be nice to see some pictures of what you bought, just out of curiosity. Most machines have probably been restored several times over by now so if yours is still in factory finish you might like to keep it that way and just repair rather than restore, seems to be the accepted trend these days for "classics".
Welcome to the club of very old children.
Jim Burgess
Norvin S.O.
 

Bruces Barnfind

Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Thanks guys...Will post some pics when my daughter shows me how...I will find out how to get the build sheet and if it did leave the factory blue , I will leave it alone except for the tank...which has been repainted at least once already...
 

deejay499

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
If it was a blue one from the factory, it is ultra rare, so you must keep it as is.
 

Bruces Barnfind

Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
If it was a blue one from the factory, it is ultra rare, so you must keep it as is.
Thanks ,,I hope it is...The gas tank has been painted for sure...I will wait until I get full membership status so I can get a copy of the build sheet....That will settle the question...
 
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