Post war, Phil Vincent and designer Phil Irving laid down the details of the new V-twin to replace the pre-war version; their ambition for the model was that it would live up to their proposed advertising strapline for the machine of ‘The World’s fastest standard Motorcycle!’.
Introduced in 1946, the Series B Rapide was certainly fast, but it soon became clear to Vincent that a tuned version would be required to further enhance the marque, and the Black Shadow was announced in the early part of 1948. It was the first genuine two-miles-per-minute production bike, with a reputed top speed of around 125 mph. The Series B Black Shadow was supplanted, after only around one year, by the Series C version with Girdraulic forks and different rear frame.
A matching numbers example, ‘LOV 579’ was despatched from the Vincent factory on 18th October 1951, sent to dealers Kings in Birmingham, and was registered for the road on 23rd January 1952. The bike was purchased by the immediately preceding owner in 1967, and carefully stored in dismantled condition until it was acquired by the present custodian in 2006. The vendor entrusted the engine to well-known Vincent exponent Mick Ruocco whilst he restored the rolling chassis. Any work required on the engine and rolling chassis was carried out, and a thorough and comprehensive restoration was completed. Carburettors were reconditioned, a modern BTH magneto was fitted, wheels were completely refurbished, as was the whole machine, and to a high standard.
Work was completed in 2010 and, as the bike had resided in the Isle of Man from 1967, the owner recovered the original mainland registration. When displayed at the April 2010 Stafford Classic Motorcycle Show, ‘LOV 579’ was adjudged ‘Best in Show’. Since completion of the restoration, the Shadow has not been started or used due to the owner’s other projects, and will therefore require commissioning, and careful running-in, if it is to be used by the new owner. Since completion ‘LOV 579’ has had the engine turned over at regular intervals and has been on display at the Lakeland Motor Museum.
Documentation comprises an undated purchase receipt, a continuation RF60 buff logbook dating from April 1963, a current V5C, an old-type V5C a VOC dating letter, copies of the Works Order Form and Despatch Check Sheet, together with photographs of the restoration, a quantity of receipts / invoices for parts, and sundry papers.
Report by bonhams.com