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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

Well Known and Active Website User
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

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

bmetcalf

Well Known and Active Website User
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

Active Website User
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

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
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.
 

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