12th July, 2023 10:00
1949 Vincent HRD Black Shadow
One of only 41 'HRD' series C Shadows
£55, 000 - £65, 000
Registration No: KXE 965
Engine No: F10AB/ 1B/ 2549
Frame No: RC44498
The Vincent story began with Phil Vincent's purchase of the HRD name in 1928, initially producing bikes using proprietary engines in his own chassis. Always the innovator by the mid-30s he had developed his own 500cc single and 1000cc twin-cylinder designs that became the mainstay of production until 1955. The big vee twin was the fastest motorcycle in the world at the time and with some astute marketing become the bike everyone aspired to own. The Rapides and the Black Shadows have become some of the most desirable and iconic bikes of the era.
This magnificent matching numbers 1949 Black Shadow has been professionally restored to a very high standard. KHX 965 is one of only 41 bikes to have been positively identified as a Series C 'HRD' Black Shadow before the company, in order to stop any confusion with Harley Davidson (HD) in the USA, began to use simply the 'Vincent' name on their products. It is thought that the bike was originally used for racing and most likely got into a scrape or two along the way but unfortunately, there is no paperwork to verify its racing pedigree but past owners have always believed that to be the case. The engine casings are marked F10AC/ 1B-2549 which is correct for a 1949 HRD Shadow and according to copies of the original factory records supplied by the VOC, this engine was originally fitted to upper and lower frame numbers RC4449B. The bike was despatched on the 14th of September, after being assembled by T Hampshire and road tested in 'fine' weather by a Mr Waugh, to official HRD agents Conways in London. The upper frame and rear frame are stamped RC4449B which matches the original records associated with the above engine and registration. Unfortunately, very little is known about its early life but at some time it had a miss match of frame members and we can only assume that the engine and frames were separated in the early years, maybe during the bikes racing days, but luckily have been reunited during the restoration. From 2000 onwards a long term restoration commenced with a complete engine rebuild in 2005, electronic ignition added, a new headlight, a new speedo and most bolts replaced with stainless steel with the final ingredient being new wheel rims with stainless steel spokes in 2022. A much easier to use centre stand has been fitted together with a long range five gallon aluminum touring petrol tank. This beautiful looking Black Shadow comes supplied with copies of the works order form, the works engine specification sheet, a VOC dating certificate, some old MOTs, some receipts, a current V5C and a tool kit.
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