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Curious Black Prince on Ebay


Gary Gittleson

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vin998

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VOC Forum Moderator
Something wrong with the story because the bike was still in Essex, UK in 1962.
 

Gary Gittleson

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Yes, there are several small things that aren't quite right but the big one is this mileage thing. Since the speedometer seems not to be original, the seller needs to drop that claim. It raises a big red flag.
 

davidd

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This bike is the real thing as far as I know. I first saw it in Coburn's shop with 6 miles on the speedo.

Coburn and Mac McConney went to England in 1966, I believe, and Mac bought this bike from Harpers as a restored machine. Mack kept it at Coburn's shop and Coburn expected to buy it. Ron Burns came into Coburn's with Mac one day and Mack had sold the Prince to him. He had it for many years and ultimately I think he sold it to Brian Keating. I am not sure where it went from there, but I suspect that Brian sold it on to someone else cited in the provenance.

Harper had a habit of switching the location of the ammeter and ignition switch. They did this on more than one machine. I did not notice when I had the chance to examine it at Coburn's that the speedo was incorrect, but I would not be surprised if that is how it came from Harper.

I do not know the earlier history, that is, earlier than 1970, but I have followed the bike in glimpses for the past 49 years. I viewed it as a freshly restored Harper Engineering bike in 1970, so it was not perfect, but a very nice job. Gene Aucott had nothing to do with this bike and it was not in America before 1966, as far as I know. I suspect it was a decent bike when Harper restored it.

3356953327_76d224d9e6.jpg
Third from the right.

David
 

davidd

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So the mileage is likely from when Harpers restored it?????
Yes. I would be so bold as to guess that Harper did not have a 150 mph speedo and had a new 120 mph speedo and that may have determined the choice.

I did contact the broker and he checked with the seller and the seller did say that I was correct on the provenance once his recollection was refreshed. Frankly, I don't remember if the trip that Mac and Ben took was in 1966 or 1967, but it does fit better with the bike being in England in 1962.

I tried to buy the bike when Ron Burns advertised it for sale in 1976 or so by putting an ad in the Boston Globe. It is a really nich bike. He reneged and refused to sell it. I bought a Black Knight instead.

David
 

Jorgen Rutegard

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The barrels on this engine are black painted. Is that original? I have seen pictures where Series´D barrels and heads are metal clean.
Vincent BP engine.JPG
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Gary Gittleson

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As I understand it, all D models had engine side covers (primary drive, timing and kickstart) painted black but the rest of the engines unpainted, just like in your picture. I have a D Rapide but by the time I got it, the covers were unpainted. They still are.
 

Marcus Bowden

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Gary said,
I have a D Rapide but by the time I got it, the covers were unpainted. They still are.

AND I think it looks better too, black paint is like putting on an overcoat unless it's matt finish on a sandblasted surface. Why didn't they paint "D" cases black, because there was no need to as they were die-castings and not porous so didn't have the submersion treatment into a vat of shellac with a high vacuum so all air was evacuated then released so shellac was sucked into the porosity. Mr Vincent said at the time he had hundreds of machined & matched cases stored as when they were completed temporary covers fitted on all apertures placed in water with air pressure any bubbles and they were put to one side, Shadows are made from rejected Rapide cases, a White Shadow is mad from Rapide cases. Simple finance, poor product dished up to go faster and different look! Now worth £10k more, some folks are stupid but they own a "SHADOW"
He didn't make as much on the Shadow's as he did Rapides because of all the extra work involved but did clear the backlog of rejected cases and time machining.
Mr Vincent's daughter gave me the name bananaman on the steps of Barcelona town hall at the 1989 FIM Rally.
 

Albervin

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VOC Member
I would be interested to know what type of breather system it has. I see no atmospheric breathers and they did not have a timed breather.
 

bmetcalf

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The long petrol hoses offend a thrifty guy like me, too.

Were D cases drilled for the timed breather?
 

timetraveller

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Regarding as to whether 'D' cases were drilled to take a timed breather; I have the prototype Black Knight and those cases are drilled but blanked off. All the other 'D' cases I have seen were not drilled. Instead the cast in boss was drilled and tapped to take a bolt to hold on the cover for the distributor.
 

mercurycrest

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I have a fairly original D that I bought in 1975. What Norman and Stu posted is correct. Someone has painted this Prince's engine black at sometime.
 

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