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Harper Engines Limited Rebuild Scheme

Magnetoman

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I ran across this recently.
According to two on-line inflation calculators the 360 pounds they wanted for this service in 1963 is equivalent to approx. 6000 pounds today (the 14 months for doing the rebuilding in 1963 works out to be 14 months in inflation-corrected 2014 months).
 

mercurycrest

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I ran across this recently.

David
In about 1972, I met a 25ish aged guy at a bike show with his father's '49 "C" Black Shadow. The story went his dad was in England and met someone on a C Shadow. His dad tried to buy the bike on the spot, but was turned down, but told where he could get a "new" Vincent of his own built. Hence, the source of this '49 Shadow. I'm thinking this bike may still be around... and, as the dad was a known bike collector in the Portland, Or. area, I doubt if it's seen much, if any use in the last 40 plus years. It was a Harper rebuild and as I remember, pretty damn nice too. Problem is, most folks I knew who would know of the bike are fertilizing daisies these days.
 

Len Matthews

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VOC Member
I would imagine that the rebuilding was done by Alf Searle and Jack Furness. I believe they were retained by Harpers to carry out repairs and servicing before launching their own business at Cromer near Stevenage.
 

greg brillus

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I believe that my Rapide is a Harpers rebuild, consisting of "B" upper and rear frames, Girdraulic forks, and a very, very early diecast engine. Even though the engine number has been restamped, the original number is still quite visible, and begins with 95xx, I do wonder exactly what month and year the factory first made the diecast cases...? The bike was ordered for a customer in the USA by Harry Belleville back in 1963. I have very little other info on the bike, but it appears like so many other ex- USA machines I have seen, to have had very little use, and even though it obviously doesn't have matching numbers, it is in remarkable condition and very original, as you might expect, it rides like a dream. Are there many other Harpers bikes out there....it seems to be a grey area, in the history of the machines. Cheers for now......Greg.
 

TouringComet

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Website Administrator
VOC Forum Website Moderator
Wow, 95xx die cast. I know a 98xx one, and thought that could be the earliest. 98xx bikes were built in late 1952.
 

roy the mechanic

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Alf + Jack did the motor and trans in mine, reputedly "one of the last " they ever did. It still runs like a train, thanks guys.
 

Hugo Myatt

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
In the mid sixties I met a chap parking a shiny C Rapide outside a local small bore shooting club. I presumed he was a member. He told me he had bought the bike from Harpers and that it was brand new. He went on to complain that it didn't handle. When I pointed out that it was missing the rear hydraulic damper he turned his back on me and stomped away.
 
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