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Once in a lifetime Vincent find.


Whiteshadow15

Active Website User
VOC Member
First off I want to say a huge thank you to Simon for all of his help and invaluable information he has shared as well extreme patience while going through the collection.

I have been in contact with several members and everyone has been wonderful, it’s an incredible community.

The discovery started some 6 years ago when a friend in passing mentioned that the family “had a couple Vincents” but wasn’t sure where they were or any other details. Having always been into motorcycles and admittedly knowing very little regarding Vincents other than the fact they were extremely rare and valuable I figured nothing would ever come of it or if it were true at all.

That had always been in the back of my mind and then this past March things became real. The perfect storm led to everything coming to light. The family was getting ready to get rid of storage units they had held for 30 some years but had been guarded on details of their whereabouts. I was in touch and received a picture of a random few parts but I was shocked when front and center was a mostly complete Black Shadow engine and then a second pic of a few more crankcases and a pile of frames.

I was told there was another “pile of parts” I could look through and before I hung up the phone I was on my way to meet the family there. I had a picture of a run-down barn in the countryside flashing through my head but was astounded when it ended up being a very well-kept climate controlled storage unit. The second the door opened was nothing short of a religious moment, chills. The “pile” of parts happened to be an entire unit packed to the brim with every part you can imagine, I could not make sense of what I was seeing, engine parts, frames, a rear tub for a Black Prince…

The first visit was quick as there wasn’t much time left in the day, I got on the phone with my brother and probably didn’t make a lick of sense in trying to explain what was found. We knew this was something huge.

Still unsure of what the next move was the following days were followed with day and night research with one lingering question remaining.. “Where are the bikes?”

After countless conversations it came to light that there was another storage unit in another city, not getting our hopes up, the thought of another unit with complete bikes was enough to lose sleep over.

My brother had a previously planned trip to visit the next weekend, the timing was perfect. Sharing the same excitement we headed out to get another set of eyes on the parts I was glad to know that I was not alone in the emotions of the find. We got news that the whereabouts of the other unit had just been discovered so we made the hour long drive to rather rough city. Despite being in a rough area, we found ourselves with the family at yet another climate controlled storage facility. Locating the unit it was obvious the lock had not been bothered in many years. Taking a moment to gather our thoughts and to once again calm our expectations we made our move. We threw open the door, eyes straining to adjust through the darkness and dust. There they were… several bikes covered in an inch of dust and moving blankets, I couldn’t bother with the mess and jumped over the pile of furniture that was blocking the path. The first bike I ran to, a Series D black shadow… next to it a series C Comet.

The story was no longer a story…

Being extremely fortunate I was able to bring my brother in and over the next few weeks with his help we acquired the collection and it has been non-stop ever since. It took countless trips and even more weeks to catalog and figure out everything that was there. The fight within ourselves as deciding what to do with the collection has led us to wanting to share it with the world and do our best to match up what frames we can with their respective bikes and give others a chance to own these wonderful bikes.

The jewels of the collection include

An original Egli-Vincent number 5, one that was sent to cycle world for testing
A completely numbers matching Series D Shadow
A Completely numbers matching Series C shadow
A Completely numbers matching Series C comet
Most of a Black Prince with numbers matching upper and engine
And for fun, a 1977 Ducati 900ss

All are available at NO RESERVE with Bohnams Collectors’ Mototcycles at the Barber Museum October 5th, a great opportunity for all.

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/25580/#/aa0=1&MR0_length=137&w0=list&m0=0


Our VINCENT listings

LOT 151- Rapide project, matching frame numbers
LOT 150- Non-matching series C shadow parts lot
LOT 149- Egli-Vincent number 5 complete bike
LOT 148- 1952 Numbers matching comet with spare engine
LOT 147- 1955 Black Prince lot matching upper and engine, all fairings
LOT 146- 1952 Black shadow, mostly complete ALL numbers matching
LOT 145- 1955 Black Shadow, all numbers matching

LOT 20- Pair of heads
LOT 19- Pair of heads
LOT 18- Pair of heads
LOT 17- Brampton forks
LOT 16- Rapide crankcase #175
LOT 15- Petrol tank
LOT 14- Grouping of AMAL carbs
LOT 13- 5 SMITHS speedometers
LOT 12- 5” beautiful black shadow gauge
LOT 11- Lightning tach
LOT 10- Grouping of fenders
LOT 9- TWO KVFTT magnetos

Our non-vincent lots

LOT 185- 1967 Honda CB160
LOT 180-1977 Ducati 900ss



The amount of parts left is nothing short of overwhelming, We will be announcing one last machine in the coming month that came to light and is of extreme historical significance
 

Attachments

davidd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Regarding the Egli mentioned: I had this in my notes as EV10, but I had never seen the bike and one of the bike's owners had identified it as EV10. No harm done. If it is EV5 it just means EV10 is missing instead of EV5.

The bike is very original assuming it is Sal Defeo's bike. Sal owned Ghost Motorcycle and although he did not send the bike to CycleWorld or Cycle Sport, he did loan the bike to them as long as they did not ride it. He sent Teddy Griffin to ride the bike. It is difficult to miss Teddy.
EV5 Auction Barber 2019 03.jpg
This is the current photo. The polished mag cowl is missing, probably because it was polished and nobody realized it went on the Egli. The head lamp and rear shocks have been changed. But, Otherwise, it looks quite original with HRD Rapide cases painted black. A rear head on the rear cylinder.
Cycle Sport Photo 1969 01.PNG
If you look at the seat in this 1969 photo, on the hump near the rear on this there appears to be an area where the paint has rubbed off. It appears to be the same on the bike today. The decal does seem to show that the bike has been painted black as the decal was not positioned correctly. It is the same on both photos. The bikes would have had cranked down foot pegs

Bonham's Description:
Bonhams Egli Desc.PNG
I think there is some confusion about the engine. It is numbered as a Rapide. Maybe it was the color. I would be surprised if the bike was road raced with that brake as it was not a road racing brake, by any stretch. Egli did offer the Grimeca. Some owners ordered both. But, I would not be surprised if the brake were the cause of a crash.

I had the last owner of this bike as George Emmerich. The location and the fact that there was a large stash of Vincent bikes and parts might support this.

David
 

Whiteshadow15

Active Website User
VOC Member
Thank you so much for the response, I can say with certainty it is EV5. I have also corrected Bohnams and let them know the 1300cc was a mistake as I am not sure where that came from, maybe the "EV13" stamping made them think 1300cc.

I actually did find the mag cowl, it had "Egli" written on it with pencil on the inside, it will stay with the bike.

That does clear up the questions regarding Cycle World as we knew it was in some pictures and there was information out there saying it was "sent" to Cycle World but had not been sure if it was a test bike or not.
 

bmetcalf

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
IIRC, George used to claim that Egli could do 150 mph! He did ride it to the Rally at Nelson Ledges in 1981, but arrived on Sunday because it kept stopping on him.
 

roy the mechanic

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
With at least five sets of c/cases, makes me wonder what happened to the cranks,gears,clutches?. There must be a shed load of it.
 

bmetcalf

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
With at least five sets of c/cases, makes me wonder what happened to the cranks,gears,clutches?. There must be a shed load of it.
Emmerich reportedly had 36 engines, most of them disassembled. The parts were mostly on shelves, but the basement was flooded in 1987 and who knows what was done after that.
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I don't know that this was truly George's bike. It would be nice to have some documentation. I believed that the bike had been taken apart because that was his habit. It is fantastic that the bike exists and is so well preserved.

EV5 was very fast. It was tested in the Cycle Sport test and did a top speed of 132 mph with a 0-60 time of 4.3. That was pretty good for 1969.

David
 

Whiteshadow15

Active Website User
VOC Member
I don't know that this was truly George's bike. It would be nice to have some documentation. I believed that the bike had been taken apart because that was his habit. It is fantastic that the bike exists and is so well preserved.

EV5 was very fast. It was tested in the Cycle Sport test and did a top speed of 132 mph with a 0-60 time of 4.3. That was pretty good for 1969.

David
Can confirm that it’s his bike.
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Can confirm that it’s his bike.
Thanks, I am short on the documentation side. I am better on the oral history.

I checked with Carleton Palmer, who told me the story years ago. The bike was advertised for sale in Mt Sinai, Long Island, NY. Carleton headed over to buy the bike and as he was pulling into the drive he saw Nick Pierce's van. Nick was pushing the Egli into the back. Carleton looked over the bike and it was Sal Defeo's bike from Ghost Motors. Sal had sold the bike to the gent in Mt Sinai and now the gent was selling it to Nick. This was probably early 1981.

According to Carleton, Nick took the bike to the National rally at Nelson Ledges in 1981. While there, he sold it to George Emmerich. Carleton thought it had been taken apart because it never surfaced over the years.

David
 

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