50-Years Owned 1951 Vincent Rapide Series C

This is from the site Bring a Trailer (https://bringatrailer.com/) ...

This 1951 Series C Vincent Rapide is a recently restored example that was given to the current owner as a disassembled project in 1967. It was put together and used infrequently for several years until being entrusted to Marty Dickerson, a Vincent racer and builder who held the un-streamlined Black Lightning record at Bonneville for many years. The 998cc V-twin and integrated 4-speed gearbox were rebuilt to Shadow specs approximately seven years ago by Southern California Vincent expert Mike Parti. In 2014, Mickey Peters of Bakersfield, California began a $41k restoration. All new fasteners and other assembly components, essential to a well sorted Vincent, were sourced from the UK and used in the build. A Black Shadow speedometer was added along with a coil ignition, Series D center stand, a concealed electric starter, and a Ducati clutch. A rare, period-correct Olicana aluminum fairing was also restored and has been installed. This Rapide has been ridden just over 700 miles since the restoration was completed in January 2016, with considerable sorting accomplished since. It is now being offered for sale by the current owner’s son with documentation of the restoration, as well as a letter of authenticity from the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club and a clean California title. Air Force JAG officer Capt. Tom Culver gave this bike to the current owner in a dissembled state 50 years ago along with an intact 1948 Vincent White Shadow. It was moved from San Francisco to Santa Barbara and initially assembled by Vern Carr, a mechanical engineer and inventor. The owner and his brother rode both bikes for a number of years until they were sent to Marty Dickerson in the early 1970s. The White Shadow was sold on behalf of the current owner for $750, and a restoration of the Rapide was initiated. Work progressed slowly, and over the years the matching-numbers uniform frame member and rear frame member were used for Marty’s other projects. When the current owner reacquired this Rapide in the mid 2000s, Marty gave him a 1950 Rapide uniform frame member (#RC4560) and a 1952 Black Shadow rear frame member (#RC10611B) as replacements. These items are now incorporated in the bike, though it is registered as a 1951 because of the engine stamping. The tank and Olicana fairing were repainted in black during Mickey Peters’ 2014-2016 restoration, with custom gold trim and correct decals added to both. The major mechanical components, including the forged aluminum Girdraulic front forks and rear swing arm, were freshly powder coated. The fenders are new polished items from the UK, and all other components were re-chromed or re-plated as required. The rims and stainless steel spokes are also replacement period-correct items, and new Avon tires have been mounted. New fasteners and assembly components were also sourced from the UK and installed during the restoration. The original seat was rebuilt and reupholstered, and many additional photos of the work in progress can be found in the gallery below. A Series D center stand with a long torque arm has been added, making it easier to park and release the bike while seated on the saddle. The original rear stand and duplex side stands remain fitted. A Black Shadow speedometer was acquired many years ago by Marty Dickerson and has recently been re-calibrated. The odometer currently shows just over 700 miles, reflecting the distance covered since the restoration was completed, including a recent tour of several hundred miles at the national Vincent meeting in Montana. A concealed electric starter from Francois Grosset has been added and is operated with the red button seen above, though the the bike can still be kick started using the original handlebar-mounted compression release. The air-cooled 998cc V-twin (#F10AB/1/7518) was rebuilt by the late Vincent expert Mike Parti about seven years ago. The internals have been upgraded to Shadow specs, increasing rated horsepower from 45 to 55. The engine remains unpainted at the insistence of Parti, who was a purist. The generator appears outwardly stock but has increased charging capacity in order to accommodate the electric starter, coil ignition, and upgraded lighting. A modern battery and Ducati clutch have also been added, and reportedly eliminate the sometimes difficult Vincent starting regimen. The 4-speed gearbox is part of the power unit and was also rebuilt by Parti. A period Vincent rider’s handbook is included along with receipts and a CD of images documenting the restoration. A selection of these items can be seen in the gallery below. The letter from the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club Machine Registrar can be seen above, confirming ownership history and the serial numbers of the main components. A number of vintage motorcycle collectors and motorcycle journalists have ridden the bike, reportedly complimenting its operation and handling. A video of the longterm current owner explaining the history can be seen below, along with a video of his son’s friend riding the bike. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sQqfBzzHoU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcTM5KWsHoo

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