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Some new paint for the '51 Rapide


John French

Active Website User
VOC Member
The tank on my Rapide, a real Bondo queen botch job, finally had enough leaks develop that I had to address the issue. I had my local repair expert Don Roe strip all the old paint and bondo and repair the previously poorly repaired rear mount as well a couple of leaky seams. While he was at it he pulled out all the dents using a stud welder, it only took about 70 studs to get it back to a fairly un-dented state. He finished the prep work with a coat or three of some modern two part primer surfacer. Then I shipped the tank to Marion (Bones) Cooper in Knoxville Tn where the magic application was carried onward, a couple of months later here's what he sent back...DSC_0001-002.JPGDSC_0002-001.JPGDSC_0004-001.JPG
 

John French

Active Website User
VOC Member
It was a fairly expensive repair but I couldn't bear to see the Rapide go away in a blaze of flame because the tank was spilling it's contents on some hot components.
 

TouringComet

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
It looks very nice. I know Bones is highly regarded and is the painter of choice for a number of Vincent restorers, but as an FYI, the Mercury Crest transfer is awfully close to the oil filler hole. This is certainly a matter of personal choice, place the transfer wherever you think it looks best, but the general consensus found by examining original, unrestored, tanks, is that the transfer should be located much lower, approximately midway between the rear flange and the filler hole. There was an article published in MPH years ago, with dimensions. But also, the transfers were originally placed by hand, and they do vary from tank to tank. When I had a tank repainted recently, I asked the painter to purposely place the Vincent scrolls on the side such that one is higher than the other, as that is how that particular tank was done at the factory.
 

evcomet

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Mercury Crest transfer on my Comet was located same as John's. Looks perfect!
John, you need to post a pic of the tank on the Rapide.
 

vibrac

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VOC Member
Tank painting details were in MPH summer 1974 that's 25 years ago how am I so certain ?:)
 

bmetcalf

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VOC Member
I thought that Somer had examined original paint tanks he had and Bones was using those dimensions. Incidentally, my 1986 Bones paint job still looks good!
 

John French

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VOC Member
Yes Bruce that's what Bones told me, that Somer had some original paint bikes that they measured and photographed to get the locations and dimensions for future jobs. Bones told me I could not be in a hurry when I sent him my tank, that it took time for the coats to dry and you could not rush the process.
 

TouringComet

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VOC Forum Administrator
No offense to Somer, he is extremely knowledgeable, but I’ll go with the research done as part of the info published in MPH, which agrees with the tank that came on the Shadow my father bought new, and also matches other unrestored tanks I’ve seen.
 

bmetcalf

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Now, my Mercury Crest transfer seems too high! It's probably not even the right one. I'm too thrifty to get it redone, so I'll try to live with it. :)
 

TouringComet

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VOC Forum Administrator
That’s an issue as well, way too many bikes have the “Vincent Engineers” transfer. You should NOT have Vincent Engineers unless your engine number is above 99xx, somewhere around that time.
 

TouringComet

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
I’m not sure, but that looks like a water slide transfer. Plus the font looks odd, especially the “Stevenage” portion. I’ll post a photo of a NOS non-water slide transfer later today.
 

davidd

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VOC Member
John's tank is lovely!

I don't think it matters much, but I have never seen an original tank with the Mercury crest near the oil filler (which does not mean it was not done that way). Also, the original Vincent transfers are quite delicate. I have never seen one survive intact. There is always some noticeable degradation.

Shots of the original Bob Chantland Black Shadow:

Chantland Tank 01.jpg

Chantland Tank 02.jpg

David
 

TouringComet

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VOC Forum Administrator
First up, this is one of the current Spares Co transfers, created from artwork re-generated a few years ago, after examining original transfers. This is a water slide transfer. The back side of the transfer is mounted to the carrier. The water slides have a clear border area around the image, and between the wings and the leg, and between the Vincent scroll and the lower portion.

IMG_2522.JPG

Next, a NOS transfer my father bought back in the day. The non-water slide transfers are face down, the face of the transfer is on the carrier, which is like tissue paper. These do not have the clear border area, nothing between the wings, and between the scroll and the lower portion.

IMG_2523.JPG

On both, the "Stevenage" text is wider, it fills up the area more than the one on the Comet tank above. It starts to the left of the "H" in HRD, and extends past the right side of "Ltd".

Click the thumbnail images to view the full resolution.
 

TouringComet

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
The Mercury Crest on the top of the petrol tank tended to wear off pretty quickly. The Vincent Scroll transfers on the sides would last longer. I think there are a number of original paint "unrestored" tanks, that have had replacement Mercury Crests applied.
 

TouringComet

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VOC Forum Administrator
The Mercury Crest on the tank at the top, it does not have the little circles between H R D, and the Stevenage font is too thick, like it is a bold font.
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Bob Peacham was the organiser of the Kent and Sussex Section for about 50 years and he had a Shadow which had been used in the 53 TT. We all assumed that it was as original apart from the mods for competition and so when I wanted to make a fibreglass 'pattern' so that I could get the correct outline for the 'gold' lines on the tank I measured his bike and compared it with the lines drawn up in MPH by Eddie Stevens and Frank Griffin. Upon measuring the position of the lines it became clear that the line at the rear of one side was 3/4" different from the other. Non of us had ever noticed this. It was only later that Beryl, his widow, told us that early on in his ownership the tank had been repainted. I made the GRP pattern to the figures in MPH and having scribed a line down the centre of the mould I measure equal distances to each side to ensure symmetry. It is interesting how right the lines look when correctly positioned and how wrong when they are in the wrong place.
 

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