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Rapide History

Alaster Bentley

New Website User
Non-VOC Member
Dear Vincent Enthusiasts,

Just a line to ask if anyone can help me fill in the life story of my Vincent Series 'C' Rapide 1951. 445 MLP. I was lucky enough to purchase this fine machine at around this time last year from a Gentleman who lives in Berkshire not far from my mother. Sadly though, it came with absolutely no history whatsoever, which is a great shame, bearing in mind the originality of the bike and its matching numbers etc. Vince Farrell shed a little bit of light telling me of a change of U.F.M. at some point to a Comet one, but certainly when bought the bike it had been swopped back to the original. Without getting in touch with the DVLA I know not a lot else, apart from a name written in pencil on the rubber battery box lid. Frank Allinson, I think. Do any members remember Frank and the bike? Please let me know. I fear the Vin has been subject to a few quite short spells of ownership in recent years, perhaps due to the steady rise in value of Vincents in general. Indeed the last time it was taxed before last year was May,2005.
The bike has just been returned to the road after a long and careful fettling session by me and Colin Jenner, who rebuilt my clutch to a very high standard. This item snatched so badly when I first used the bike, that it was virtually unrideable, especially in traffic. She had her first proper outing the other day when we went down to The 'Ace Cafe' Vincent and Velocette Day. I was absolutely thrilled with the way the Bike ran, despite some pretty miserable weather on the way back, but more importantly I was delighted to meet so many helpful and interesting members, one of whom rescued my new S.Steel handlebar mirror from dropping off! (forgot to take some allen keys with me)!
I have included a couple of pictures in this post and would be really interested to read any comments members have to offer. Please bear in mind that I am new to Vincenteering and have probably got quite a lot of cosmetic things not quite right. The wiring to the battery is only temporary until I can sort out a neat fuse arrangement.

Many thanks to you all,

Alaster.
 

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John Appleton

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
welcome Alaster, This has nothing to do with your bikes history, but more to do with my not realising you were new to our throng. I was the one at the Ace ,busy getting my riding gear off, when you arrived and parked next to me. You then seemed to get waylaid by a leather cowboy and I decided discretion was the better part of valour and left you to your fate. I will look for you at a future gathering and say hello.
John
 

Len Matthews

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Dear Vincent Enthusiasts,

Just a line to ask if anyone can help me fill in the life story of my Vincent Series 'C' Rapide 1951, Reg. No. 445 MLP. I was lucky enough to purchase this fine machine at around this time last year from a Gentleman who lives in Berkshire not far from my mother. Sadly though, it came with absolutely no history whatsoever, which is a great shame, bearing in mind the originality of the bike and its matching numbers etc. Vince Farrell shed a little bit of light telling me of a change of U.F.M. at some point to a Comet one, but certainly when bought the bike it had been swopped back to the original. Without getting in touch with the DVLA I know not a lot else, apart from a name written in pencil on the rubber battery box lid. Frank Allinson, I think. Do any members remember Frank and the bike? Please let me know. I fear the Vin has been subject to a few quite short spells of ownership in recent years, perhaps due to the steady rise in value of Vincents in general. Indeed the last time it was taxed before last year was May,2005.
The bike has just been returned to the road after a long and careful fettling session by me and Colin Jenner, who rebuilt my clutch to a very high standard. This item snatched so badly when I first used the bike, that it was virtually unrideable, especially in traffic. She had her first proper outing the other day when we went down to The 'Ace Cafe' Vincent and Velocette Day. I was absolutely thrilled with the way the Bike ran, despite some pretty miserable weather on the way back, but more importantly I was delighted to meet so many helpful and interesting members, one of whom rescued my new S.Steel handlebar mirror from dropping off! (forgot to take some allen keys with me)!
I have included a couple of pictures in this post and would be really interested to read any comments members have to offer. Please bear in mind that I am new to Vincenteering and have probably got quite a lot of cosmetic things not quite right. The wiring to the battery is only temporary until I can sort out a neat fuse arrangement.

Many thanks to you all,

Alaster.

Hello Alaster, I wonder if you quoted your bike's reg. number the wrong way round? My Rapide is also MLP xxx and the records show it was sold new by Jack Surtees in South London in 1951. Since dealers were issued with blocks of reg. numbers I wonder if your bike came from the same dealer at about the same time? Hearty welcome to the Wonderful World of Vincents!
Len Matthews.
 

Alaster Bentley

New Website User
Non-VOC Member
Ace Cafe day

Dear John and Len,

Thanks for your replies to my post. Len, you are quite right about my Reg. No. I must have had a real dyslexic moment, as my number is MLP 445! Also you have jogged my memory because after reading your reply, I remember Vince telling me the Rapide had been supplied to Jack Surtees' Showroom. What a co-incidence! John, the Cowboy was so enthusiastic about the event and the bike, that I just had to bite the bullet and listen to the old stories etc..... Believe me I would have much sooner talked Vincents!

Cheers,

Alaster.
 

CollingsBob

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I think you might want to extend your stainless breather to the rear axle, at the very least...preferably to the rear of the rear stand...


Very tasty looking machine!
 

Alaster Bentley

New Website User
Non-VOC Member
Dear Collingsbob,

Thanks for that suggestion. I notice that there are a lot of threads regarding twin breathers and will keep an eye on the situation. As yet, the engine seem to run smoothly, if rather smokily, from time to time, but never emits pure oil from the breather pipe. Until I get serious plug oiling problems, I think I'll leave well alone.

Cheers ,

Alaster.
 

Paul Ennis

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Fuses

Hi Alaster,
I use a car type blade fuse on my bike simply fitted with lucar connectors. It fits neatly under the battery box lid.
I thought I recognised the MLP reg, but I was probably thinking of Len's bike!
Paul.
 

Alaster Bentley

New Website User
Non-VOC Member
Dear Paul,

Thanks for the very good suggestion of the blade type fuse idea. I suppose it is a lot flatter than the glass cylindrical type, so there is probably room in the battery box for everything.

Cheers,

Alaster.
 

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