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Bonhams Auction at Stafford

Mark Fraser

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Did anyone make it to Stafford? Yet again the vinney lot's made decent money. A barn find 'Shadow' making well into 40K!! :confused:

Mark.

Vincent rides this year = 0 :(
 

Prosper Keating

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
I'd call it indecent rather than decent money. The buyer may spend a minimum of fifteen or twenty grand restoring it and then we're getting up there into the realms of sixty grand for a Black Shadow. At that point, it really does start becoming viable to consider building one from modern parts, given than it would cost less than thirty grand, as the VOCSC experiment showed us.

PK
 

Graham Smith

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
VOC Forum Moderator
Trust me, if you wanted to build one from brand new parts, it would cost you far in excess of £30k.
 

Prosper Keating

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Really? That's interesting. I seem to remember assurances to VOC members that the price eventually realised from the sale of the replica Black Shadow covered its costs. Referring back to the original proposal in 2005, the VOCSC requested a loan - "staged sponsorship" - not exceeding £35,000 to cover the cost of parts and complete assembly.

If I recall rightly, the September 2006 GCM minutes and accounts suggested that the total cost of the project was in excess of £28,000. The Shadow realised £30,000, after an auction in which both high bidders, for £80k and £50k, were suddenly unable to come up with the funds. When the replica motor was unveiled, the VOCSC suggested that it was worth around £18,000 in retail terms.

A basic, working Vincent-style 1000cc motor can be produced for around £10k. It's still a lot of money for the Man on the Clapham Omnibus, which is why one doesn't see retro-Rockers all over the place on Norvins. However, I know of someone who is looking at producing engines that look the part in India for even less.

A rough rule-of-thumb estimate with the price lists in mind indicate that a rolling chassis comprising new parts might cost between £10k and £15k. Retail prices of the UFM, RFM and complete Girdraulics would account for perhaps £6k. That leaves £5k to £10k for the rest: fuel tank at six hundred sovs, footrests for a couple of ton and so on. The VOCSC stated that the project's costs were covered when the machine was eventually sold. That includes the time devoted to the project by the builder, unless that was donated.

Unless I am missing something here, a fellow with enough fitting skills could build himself a new Black Shadow or Rapide for £30k or less, especially if he set himself up with an off-the-shelf motor trade-themed limited company for a hundred quid or so and benefitted from the same trade discounts that might have offered to approved Vincent-HRD workshops had there ever been any intention to produce small scale production runs of replica 1000s. One would also get the VAT back too.

After all, the VOCSC were able to cover all of the costs, including assembly, for £28k, according to the minutes of the GCM cited above. If a chap knew nothing about spanners and fitting and surrendered himself to some of our more expensive specialists and restorers, I would tend to agree with you that a brand new twin would cost him rather more than thirty grand Sterling. However, some of us still know one end of a spanner from the other as a result of living with these and other British motorcycles for decades.

PK
 

Graham Smith

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
VOC Forum Moderator
As the major shareholder, all the parts supplied by the VOC Spares Company Limited to build the Club's 'new' Black Shadow were supplied at a 'trade/cost' rate.

Not at the retail prices you and I would pay if we were to order all the parts required to build a new machine.
 
Engine prices.

Graham is right, you can not build a new engine for £10K
The cases, heads, muff/liners, pistons, head parts, rockers, flywheels, gearbox, covers come to about £10.300 and that is only the big bits.

Add on about £5k for the little bits, A BTH @£550, an Alton @£300, carbs @£600 and you are looking at £17.000.00

Pete, did you work out what your engine cost to build?

Russ.
 

TouringComet

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
VOC Forum Moderator
It will be interesting to see how much the White Shadow goes for, at the upcoming Bonhams auction at the Quail, Carmel, California, this Saturday.
More Info
Also the Rollie Free archives, lot 40.
 
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Prosper Keating

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Graham is right, you can not build a new engine for £10K
The cases, heads, muff/liners, pistons, head parts, rockers, flywheels, gearbox, covers come to about £10.300 and that is only the big bits.

Add on about £5k for the little bits, A BTH @£550, an Alton @£300, carbs @£600 and you are looking at £17.000.00

Pete, did you work out what your engine cost to build?

Russ.

I think you're mixing things up here. Graham reckoned that it would cost far more than £30k to build a working twin. The VOCSC's own statement that their costs were covered by the £30k sale price eventually realised for their replica proves this. In fact, the VOCSC stated that the project cost £28k.

A man with the determination - and access to certain facilities and resources - could probably build himself a Black Shadow for £30k or less. After all, the VOCSC managed it and that was despite all their other considerable commitments.

I'll grant you that someone ordering parts from the VOCSC and other established suppliers and paying a commercial specialist to turn them into a working motorcycle would certainly pay far more than than £30k, once list prices, tax, hourly labour rates, painting work, plus all the other unexpected costs when contracting people to do the work were taken into account.

The VOCSC suggested that complete new twin motors would cost around £18k when they unveiled the prototype or project motor in 2006. This gels with your estimate. However, you are, I think, referring to retail prices. Retail prices on average tend to be around 40% above wholesale or trade. £18k - £7.2k = £10.8k.

A working motor resembling a 1940s Vincent 1000cc engine could be produced for around £10k ex-works. There would be some internal differences. A couple of fairly serious people have costed such a project and it is feasible. Whether or not it will be implemented is another matter entirely, of course. Given the current economic conditions, there seems little mileage to be gained - sorry - from producing ten grand motors for petrolheads. After all, ten grand is a lot of change for most people.

PK
 
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Mark Fraser

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
I'd call it indecent rather than decent money. The buyer may spend a minimum of fifteen or twenty grand restoring it and then we're getting up there into the realms of sixty grand for a Black Shadow. At that point, it really does start becoming viable to consider building one from modern parts, given than it would cost less than thirty grand, as the VOCSC experiment showed us.

PK

Prosper,
Do you really think that barn find shadow will ever see the road?:confused: I very much doubt it. I've broken a Comet to build a twin, I initially put a price of about 10K on building the twin engine but it's come out just under 12K. That's with a healthy discount from a Vin supplier and using the head from the comet. I paid 5K for the Comet four years ago and with the additional parts required to make it a twin I reckon 19K all in. It will always be a bitsa but at least the engine is all new. The thought of spending 20K+ on a Twin then discovering that the engine is junk would just be a financial nightmare for me.:eek:
 

Prosper Keating

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Anyone known to have paid that much over the odds for a classic vehicle will probably end up paying way over the odds to the restorers who help to make the machine better than it was, or better-looking, when it rolled from the works.

Motor trade types have always loved punters with more money than sense. It will probably end up being one of the most expensive Shadows in the world. LOL! Hopefully money really is no object to the new owner and he will actually get out there and have fun on it.

Converting a Comet into a twin is a good way to go. A friend of mine is seriously considering it, although he will keep all the Comet parts carefully stored for the day he might sell the machine.

PK
 

Robert Watson

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Prosper - I agree that the books showed that it cost the Club just over 28K to build the Shadow. I also understand that all parts were supplied at cost. I have absolutley no privy to the markup of parts from VOCS or any other supplier, but if you look at the VOCS books, I'm sure you will soon see that all the cost of running the Co. is covered by the difference between what it costs them for parts and what they sell them for.
I can't put my hands on the numbers at the moment but --- being very crude - and not in vulgar way!
Sales say 200K
Wages, rent, advertising and promotion, VOC member discounts, special offer discounts, fees, light, heat, etc etc plus a profit of 5 or 10K means maybe 60- 70K spent, so 130-140K in parts costs, and you have a mark up of at least 50% - and I suspect likely more.

That means that your 28K in parts now costs more like 42K - or somewhat less if you negotiate a better discount. Not so feasible.

I am not saying the markup is out of line. I have run small businesses and know what one has to do to make a profit at it.

Next option would be for a man to do a one off. Unless you have the capacity to do it in your basement as perhaps one or two in the Club can, you have to farm everything out with perhaps unknown specs. Also not really an option.

Ask Patrick Godet what it would cost to supply an engine. He's a guy doing it every day. That will give you a real world perspective.

Ask the two or three groups building batches of A twin's what the engines cost them - and they are way more simple than a post war twin.

Still doesn't mean I think spending that kind of money for a "Barn Find" twin is reasonable, all it does prove is that there are still guys around with deep pockets!
 
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vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
It was always thus,at Bonhams in 1984 when I bought my 2nd Egli a fellow in the queue calling himself 'mr smith' paid in notes and said to me 'have i bought a B or a C?' followed by 'I normally buy rollers but im running out of space...' for me the wonder number at Stafford was 12.5K for a bike in bits without matching numbers. I guess the big drop will come when decent interest is paid again by banks
 

Vic Youel

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Club Black Shadow

A thought occurs to me.

Knowing that the whole bike was built out of new bits, and allowing for the high test mileage of the engine in the road test chassis. wouldn't it be nice to have a Tony Rose type (monthly?) test report as this VOC financially assisted machine accumulates its miles..... that's assuming it is not becoming a museum piece or collectors item?

Vic;););)
 

Prosper Keating

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
A thought occurs to me.

Knowing that the whole bike was built out of new bits, and allowing for the high test mileage of the engine in the road test chassis. wouldn't it be nice to have a Tony Rose type (monthly?) test report as this VOC financially assisted machine accumulates its miles..... that's assuming it is not becoming a museum piece or collectors item?

Vic;););)

Would the new owner be prepared to log his first 250,000 miles on the replica Black Shadow? Did Tim Kirker keep a journal as he tested the motor in his original rolling chassis? That would be interesting to read. Did anyone who rode the complete machine record their impressions?

I wrote to the club proposing a short news clip and an article or two for distribution to a couple of broadsheets and top end magazines but never got a reply. There would have been a number of possibilities of likely benefit not just to the VOC but perhaps even to the vintage vehicle fraternity in general. There were also the ecological angles in which I interested a couple of editors. It was a good story from a number of angles.

It seems a shame that the machine was not retained for general PR and rolling test purposes. Repayment of the loan could hardly have been a pressing matter, given the amount of money on which the VOC is sitting. The VOCSC exists, after all, to keep the Vincent-HRD motorcycles of VOC members - and other riders - on the road.

PK
 

Prosper Keating

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Ask Patrick Godet what it would cost to supply an engine. He's a guy doing it every day. That will give you a real world perspective.

I've known Patrick for more than twenty years. He caters to a certain market. One might even describe it as the top end of the market. I know others who are cheaper, some of whom are utterly reliable, some of whom are typical motor trade shysters.

Ask the two or three groups building batches of A twin's what the engines cost them - and they are way more simple than a post war twin.

The builder or refabricator of serious exotica faces much higher tooling-up outlay than someone looking to build a postwar Vincent-HRD twin lump. I can think, for instance, of four suppliers of 1000cc crankcases. The same applies to heads, barrels and plenty of other parts. Parts like outer covers have to be sourced from one or two occasional suppliers.

People setting out to reproduce Brough SS100s and whathaveyou always end up chasing the rainbow. I saw it several times when I was working in the motorcycle media back in the days before things cost what they cost now. Even the more commercially-minded romantics, like the chaps who tried to put Norton back on the map with the Rotary, or the more staid "Matchless" with the Rotax 500 lump, and came a cropper. Bloor succeeded because he eschewed romanticism and the retro market until the firm was well-established.

Still doesn't mean I think spending that kind of money for a "Barn Find" twin is reasonable, all it does prove is that there are still guys around with deep pockets!

Sure, and the trouble is that every fool fortunate enough to find or be left stuff like this in a barn is going to push for such prices, thereby screwing up the market. And as long as there are bankers and others looking to salt their bonuses into non-taxable holdings, we will see disruption in the values of 'collectibles' across the board.

Put it this way: trying getting an insurer to pay out 60k for a restored, original Black Shadow or the 80k mooted at one point for the replica Shadow and see how far you get! Try getting them to pay out €65,000 on your new Egli-Vincent. That's the real world test of values. A few surreal pieces paid at auction do not a yardstick make...

Thank heavens!

:D

PK
 
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Peter. C

Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
The cost of rebuilding my wrecked engine came in at £5250 and that was with a lot of the original parts like heads muffs and most of the gearbox being renewed plus all the outer bits being usable. It was the feeling of looking at my 90,000 mile engine when it happened was the worst bit. When the insides are hanging out of the bottom of the cases in a puddles of oil and metal it is beyond
description. So much time,work and enthusiasm gone in a flash.
I now have Carrillos
 

roy the mechanic

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Screw the insurance(rip-off s.o.b's) Just buy a .45acp (35.00 at your local pub) and keep alert! Protected by loaded guns works for me.Also might keep a few more away too.
 

Tnecniv Edipar

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
If the prices being achieved by Vincent's are considered outrageous , just have a look at what Rough Inferiors are fetching !!! When I bought my Rapide 15 years ago I thought then that Vincent's were undervalued , and even at today's prices that view hasn't changed. Goldies and '59 Bonnies are fetching upto £15k for proper minters !!
 

Pete Appleton

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
Build cost

Pete, did you work out what your engine cost to build?

Russ.

I haven't added up the total cost as that would be too upsetting. At a rough tally I would say £13,000 + V.A.T

Obviously that is just for parts as the major attraction for this project was putting it together myself.

This also doesn't cover the cost of all of the peripheral parts like mag cover, ignition system and two charging systems when the Alton proved to be a pile of ....

Pete
 

Len Matthews

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Anyone known to have paid that much over the odds for a classic vehicle will probably end up paying way over the odds to the restorers who help to make the machine better than it was, or better-looking, when it rolled from the works.

Motor trade types have always loved punters with more money than sense. It will probably end up being one of the most expensive Shadows in the world. LOL! Hopefully money really is no object to the new owner and he will actually get out there and have fun on it.

Converting a Comet into a twin is a good way to go. A friend of mine is seriously considering it, although he will keep all the Comet parts carefully stored for the day he might sell the machine.

PK

As a restorer none of my customers have paid "over the odds".Most of them have more sense than money. In fact I've probably lost money on some jobs. The satisfaction comes from turning a wreck into a machine fit to ride and thereby putting another Vincent back on the road.
Len. (Matthews Motorcycles)
 

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