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Series 'B' Black Shadow

Graham Smith

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Does anyone know the engine number of the first Series 'C' Black Shadow?

I'm trying to work out if a certain engine number is a Series 'B' or 'C' Black Shadow.

I know a Series 'B' will have Bramptons, but I wondered if there a more scientific way of working it out?
 

nkt267

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This is where I show my ignorance of Vincent history.:eek:
Looking at KTB series B had no rear damper. Paul Richardson says UFM slotted from engine No.3500 but adds approx. I also believe that for a while you could order a C with Bramptons making life all the more confusing.:D
 
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A_HRD

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First C Shadow

Does anyone know the engine number of the first Series 'C' Black Shadow?

I'm trying to work out if a certain engine number is a Series 'B' or 'C' Black Shadow.

I know a Series 'B' will have Bramptons, but I wondered if there a more scientific way of working it out?

Graham,

I'm no official authority on these things, but I think you'll find that the first production C Shadow was engine number 1B/1328, and yes, it would likely have had Brampton forks.

Regards,
Peter Barker
 

TouringComet

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Someone in the LA area was trying to determine if their Shadow was the first C Shadow. I heard second hand from someone that talked to Gordon Powell that the first 5 C Shadows were road tested the same day, so there is no way to say which was the first, since any one of them could have been shipped and sold before the others.

Peter, why would the first C Shadow likely have had Bramptons? What makes it a C if it does not have Girdraulics? The presence of a hydraulic damper on the rear?

When Indian Sales ordered a batch of bikes with Bramptons, some time after the B's had ended, weren't they considered B's, even though they had a rear damper?
 

A_HRD

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B vs C vs Girdraulics

It is self-evident that the evolution from Series B to Series C was a gradual process. Just consider the following early post-war changes by way of examples: the Rear Damper, the RFM length/curvy seat brackets/brake-cable pivot, the Crankcase changes, the Timing Cover, the K/S Cover, the Steering Head-Stock variants, Cyl Head Finning, Gear-Change Linkage, Cams, Cyl Studs, Large Idler, prop-stands, rear stand, petrol tank, 3.5" dynamo, stop-light switch, rear mudguard stays - to name but a few.

We know that all these modifications were incorporated at different times. I agree, that the arrival of the girdraulics was probably the defining moment that a decision was taken to announce the revamped machine a Series C, but some early Series C's still had Bramptons. That may have been because of a need to use-up existing stocks, or to meet specific customer requirements, or because of a shortage of girdraulic parts in the early stages - or more likely a combination of all three. I guess we'll never know for sure. :confused:

If I put Bramptons on my Series C, does it become a B? I say not - simply a C with Bramptons. All this is just my opinion of course, bu I have been known to be wrong, and lets face it, at the end of the day its all just academic. Go enjoy riding your Vincent whether it be A, B, C or D; the sun is shining and that's exactly what I'm about to do now. :)

Regards,
Peter Barker
 

Ian Savage

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C Shadow

Now I have a note of the first C Shadow being 1B/2110 dispatched to Australia 9th May 1949.:confused:
I also have listed 1/1327 as the first C Rapide. Which iterestingly is just one below Peter’s first C Shadow.:confused::confused:
Girdraulics were first available in mid '48 and fitted to a Rap as early as engine no 1/1045. So the definition of a B or C can never be clear other than if there is note of the model in the works record. During the transition the works, I'm sure, would make a machine to any spec if meant a sale.

As has been said many times on subjects of machine authentication talk to the VOC’s Machine Registrar and/or Researcher Gordon or Vince, who are more than happy to exchange information particularly on notable machines such as the first or last of anything.

As Peter states I'm not an official authority on this subject, I just assembled a list of marker dates and eng/frame numbers from allsorts of references sources when I was Information Officer for the VOC to be able to answer just such questions. I can and have being wrong.
Ian
 
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clevtrev

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This is where I show my ignorance of Vincent history.:eek:
Looking at KTB series B had no rear damper. Paul Richardson says UFM slotted from engine No.3500 but adds approx. I also believe that for a while you could order a C with Bramptons making life all the more confusing.:D
Error there, Richardson says FRAME No. 3500 not Engine.
 

TouringComet

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I guess the question is, did the factory make a relatively clean transition on the frame numbers from Rxxxx to RCxxxx, or was there a transition period with quite a bit of overlap where bikes were continuing to be assembled with both Rxxxx and RCxxxx? If there was overlap, then what did the factory base the decision on when deciding whether to add the 'C' or not?

If the existence of the 'C' in the frame number means it is a Series C, then the Riders Handbook I have, sixth edition of 1952, says that RC3296 was the first C twin, and RC/1/3568 was the first C single. I would not venture to guess what the corresponding engine numbers were, since there are variances in the offset rule.

To address the original question, engines aren't B or C, frames are. You would need to know what frame number the engine was originally paired with.
 
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plasticbeer

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VOC Member
The works’ records for the vast majority of machines clearly state which series the bike is, the transitional period between ‘B’ and ‘C’ is wider than most people think. With all the ‘stampers’ that we now have in our midst an open forum such as this is no place to be specific on details.

Some of the statements already made on this thread just aren’t true, but over the years will no doubt become ‘fact’ as they were made on the VOC Forum. This is bad because it ‘muddies the water’ for the real enthusiast, but good as it also confuses the crooks. The three cylinder Shadow hasn’t yet been discussed, maybe I should start a new thread?
 

plasticbeer

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VOC Member
The works’ records for the vast majority of machines clearly state which series the bike is, the transitional period between ‘B’ and ‘C’ is wider than most people think. With all the ‘stampers’ that we now have in our midst an open forum such as this is no place to be specific on details.

Some of the statements already made on this thread just aren’t true, but over the years will no doubt become ‘fact’ as they were made on the VOC Forum. This is bad because it ‘muddies the water’ for the real enthusiast, but good as it also confuses the crooks. The three cylinder Shadow hasn’t yet been discussed, maybe I should start a new thread?
 

TouringComet

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I have copies of a few works records, with two different styles of 'Works Order Form'. The early style is quite detailed, and the only one I have of that type says 'Rapide B', so yes, it is clearly stated. The later style of WOF I have is not so detailed, and the three that I have simply say 'Comet' or 'Black Shadow'. Unfortunately, I don't know what style was used during the transition.

I am also sensitive to posting specific details when it comes to numbers. I posted specific numbers in this case because they are already visible in a publication.
 

clevtrev

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
The works’ records for the vast majority of machines clearly state which series the bike is, the transitional period between ‘B’ and ‘C’ is wider than most people think. With all the ‘stampers’ that we now have in our midst an open forum such as this is no place to be specific on details.

Some of the statements already made on this thread just aren’t true, but over the years will no doubt become ‘fact’ as they were made on the VOC Forum. This is bad because it ‘muddies the water’ for the real enthusiast, but good as it also confuses the crooks. The three cylinder Shadow hasn’t yet been discussed, maybe I should start a new thread?
So what`s my Shadow, Vince ?
 

greg burt

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Non-VOC Member
black shadow

Brian Greenfields book states the first C shadow to Australia as
1B/2058 - RC3958B - Agent Elder Smith Sydney 4/49
 

Tom Gaynor

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VOC Member
Originality

I think you are correct. Can one believe that Vincent scrapped brand-new Bramptons, perhaps when some customers actually WANTED them, because of a marketing decision to change to Girdraulics and to call the bikes series C?
(In my own, drilling for oil, business we updated tool model names regularly because when customers complained that what we were selling was proven crap, we could counter-claim that that was the Mark VII, but this was the new, improved, Mark VIII. It was, of course, exactly the same, but the scam worked. You wonder why oil prices are so high?)
Any bike built to whatever spec in the transition period is probably original, and anyone who wants to believe that series B stopped dead and series C started immediately thereafter is delusional. My own (Feb 1951) Shadow had a chrome rear wheel and a black front wheel. A friend's Nov 1951 Comet has black painted wheels front and rear. Concours judges, eat your hearts out: or be prepared to know a lot more than you do.........

It is self-evident that the evolution from Series B to Series C was a gradual process. Just consider the following early post-war changes by way of examples: the Rear Damper, the RFM length/curvy seat brackets/brake-cable pivot, the Crankcase changes, the Timing Cover, the K/S Cover, the Steering Head-Stock variants, Cyl Head Finning, Gear-Change Linkage, Cams, Cyl Studs, Large Idler, prop-stands, rear stand, petrol tank, 3.5" dynamo, stop-light switch, rear mudguard stays - to name but a few.

We know that all these modifications were incorporated at different times. I agree, that the arrival of the girdraulics was probably the defining moment that a decision was taken to announce the revamped machine a Series C, but some early Series C's still had Bramptons. That may have been because of a need to use-up existing stocks, or to meet specific customer requirements, or because of a shortage of girdraulic parts in the early stages - or more likely a combination of all three. I guess we'll never know for sure. :confused:

If I put Bramptons on my Series C, does it become a B? I say not - simply a C with Bramptons. All this is just my opinion of course, bu I have been known to be wrong, and lets face it, at the end of the day its all just academic. Go enjoy riding your Vincent whether it be A, B, C or D; the sun is shining and that's exactly what I'm about to do now. :)

Regards,
Peter Barker
 

david bowen

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Non-VOC Member
Bristol aircraft company where not able to suppy the number of girdraulice parts required for the orders vincents had so they had to go back cap in hand to ask bramptons for more supplies remember vincents made the wheel fork ends for bramptons so that was not a easy task
 

clevtrev

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VOC Member
Bristol aircraft company where not able to suppy the number of girdraulice parts required for the orders vincents had so they had to go back cap in hand to ask bramptons for more supplies remember vincents made the wheel fork ends for bramptons so that was not a easy task
What was made by Bristol Aeroplane Co. ?
 

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