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white shadow

Bigmart

New Forum Website User
VOC Member
Hi im currently undertaking restoration of my Vincent Rapide 1950 series C and this has been fitted with 150mph speedo.Bike was last used in 1983 and has been left is sheds since then.

Have read literature on a white shadow and was wondering how to tell, engine number wise, if this might have been one of those models.:confused:
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I think that the Club machine registrar and the Club researcher could tell you with some knowledge. In lieu of sound knowledge, I would answer that it depends on the year and the records. Prior to November 1948 most of the twin racers and specials had a “1A” or “1B” as a design divider in the engine number. This covers a period of time before the Black Shadow and the Black Lightning were official models. Then there was probably a period where Mr. Vincent called certain bikes “Black Lightnings” but there was no official distinction in the factory drawings. In November of 1948 Phil Irving issued a memo instituting the designation of “1C” as the design number or design divider for the Black Lightning. I am not certain that the there was ever a model officially designated as a White Lightning, but Dennis Minett who ran the Special Engine department at the Factory does list a “1A” machine as a “White Lightning” in his notebook. So, if your bike has a 1A design number and is listed among the bikes that were built in the Special Engine Department, I should think you could call it a White Lightning or a White Shadow with some justification. If the build sheet shows many special Shadow parts, but it did not go to the Special Engine Department, I think you could be justified in calling it a White Shadow. If the bike has been customized with Shadow or Lightning parts, call it anything you wish – just give a nod to those that have the real thing and enjoy the ride.

David
 

roy the mechanic

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
as there were only about 15 white ones built it.s not impossible, but unlikeley. lots of rapides now have the "big clock" also, by now, most have been "shadowised" during rebuilds. davidd is right, the club holds records to prove or otherwise. keep working, it's still a fine bike to ride!
 

Hugo Myatt

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
as there were only about 15 white ones built it.s not impossible, but unlikeley. lots of rapides now have the "big clock" also, by now, most have been "shadowised" during rebuilds. davidd is right, the club holds records to prove or otherwise. keep working, it's still a fine bike to ride!

When I bought my Twin around 1966 the original buff registration book stated it was a Black Shadow. As a callow youth I did not, at that time, bother to note the engine number I was just thrilled to have a Black Shadow. Admittedly the engine lacked the black enamel but it had Shadow carbs, high bottom gear, polished inlet stubs, Lightning clutch disc, Shadow brake drums and, of course, a Shadow clock. The machine was originally supplied by Lawton and Wilson of Southampton. In the fifties Mike Creamer, an ex- Vincent employee, worked for Lawton and Wilson and offered a service of ‘converting’ Rapides into ‘Black Shadows’. My swan turned out to be a goose. The engine number confirmed it was just a humble Rapide. Just how he managed to get it registered as a Black Shadow I have no idea.
 
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