Car & Classic Premium Auctioneer

Bonhams 1793 Ltd – Motorcycle dept

101 New Bond Street, London


c.1951 Vincent 499cc Comet Project For Sale

This motorcycle is to be auctioned by Bonhams at the Timed-Online December Sale, with public viewing available Wednesday 6 December, from Bonhams Motorcycles in Milton Keynes. The timed online auction runs between December 1st through December 11th, with lots closing from midday December 11th.

Lot 120
Property of a deceased's estate
c. 1951 Vincent 499cc Comet Project
Registration no. not registered (see text)
Frame no. none (see text) Rear frame no. RC/ 1/ 9787/ C
Engine no. F5AB/ 2A/ 6960 Crankcase mating no. 86Z / 86Z
Gearbox no. G97E51 433

? Present ownership since 1992
? Laid up for many years
? 'Barn find' condition
? Offered for restoration

The Vincent-HRD marque originated in 1928 when Philip C Vincent acquired the name, jigs, tools and patterns of the recently liquidated HRD Company. ('HRD' stood for Howard Raymond Davies, the Isle of Man TT winner who had founded the firm in 1924). Vincent moved production from Wolverhampton to Stevenage and set about putting his motorcycle design ideas into practice, commencing with an innovative sprung frame that would remain a feature of Vincent motorcycles until production ceased in 1955.

Unlike in pre-war days, when the first (Series-A) Vincent-HRD v-twin had been created by - in effect - combining two of the existing singles, post-WW2 Vincent's approach was reversed, with the Series-B twin appearing first, in 1946, and the single-cylinder version in 1948. The latter was offered in two forms initially: the Series-B Meteor tourer and Series-C Comet sports roadster. Apart from its Burman gearbox and 'missing' cylinder, the Comet followed Series-C twin lines, featuring the newly introduced Girdraulic front fork and hydraulic dampers at front and rear, while the Meteor retained the old Brampton girders. The Meteor was soon dropped but the Comet continued in production until 1954, offering the same degree of refinement as its bigger brother, albeit with reduced performance. Even so, the Comet combined a 90mph potential with excellent fuel economy, and was the ideal touring mount for the discerning rider who placed civility of manners and quality of construction above outright performance. An expensive machine to produce, the Comet did not sell as well as its maker had hoped and was dropped when the Series-D range was introduced.

This Series-C Comet has carried the registration 'MGK 965' since its purchase in 1992 but is offered unregistered as this registration belongs to another Comet (frame number 'RC/ 1/ 8860C') sold at auction some years ago (this machine's upper frame member is unstamped). In cases such as this the Vincent Owners' Club suggests that owners source another UFM with a good factory stamp and apply to the DVLA for an age-related number. The rear frame 'RC/ 1/ 9787/ C' originally formed part of a Comet despatched in October 1951 to a dealer named Lambert in Thetford, while engine 'F5AB/ 2A/ 6960' is originally from a Comet that went to Conway Motors in June '51. Accordingly, prospective purchasers must satisfy themselves with regard to the suitability and authenticity of this motorcycle's components prior to bidding.

This Comet was in its current configuration when purchased by the late owner in 1992. Notable features include uprated electrical and ignition systems; alloy wheel rims (Akront front, Borrani rear); 'Ace' handlebars; a luggage rack; and a steering damper (partly detached). Offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed, the machine carries a tax disc that expired in 1993 - suggesting this was the last time it was used - and has been laid up for some considerable time (the engine turns over). A Vincent Rider's Handbook is included in the sale together with a 1992 MoT, insurance paperwork and DVLA correspondence.

£6, 000-8, 000

All lots are sold 'as is/ where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

Visit Bonhams Motorcycles Webpage for all pertinent auction information.

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