Post war, Phil Vincent and designer Phil Irving, who had returned to the company during the war years, laid down the details of the new post war V-twin to replace the pre-war series A, 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 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. After only approximately one year the Series B machines were supplanted by the Series C bikes with Girdraulic forks, replacing the Brampton girders, and a modified rear frame member.
XMK 306 was purchased in 1974 by the present owner, from a work colleague who had owned the machine from 1953. By the time of purchase the machine was not in use, and the owner had partly dismantled it into large lumps for storage. The vendor reassembled the bike and used it for a short period, covering only approximately 500 miles, after which it was kept in dry storage. He has repainted the petrol tank and rear number plate holder, but those apart, the machine remains largely unrestored and original. It has been started and run at intervals, the last time being in 2016.
Factory records show that this machine was supplied to Conways on 24th April 1952 who presumably ordered it for Slocombes in Neasden Lane, London NW10. Slocombes were not a listed Vincent dealership, so would have had to order the machine via Conways, who were. They fitted a sidecar and taxed the bike on 4th July 1952 before it was registered to the first owner, C. Abrey and Co. Ltd of Cricklewood just one week later. It passed to the second owner only 14 months later on 14th September 1953. The original sidecar was still with the machine when purchased by the vendor.
The machine will require some re-commissioning before use by a new owner. Documentation accompanying XMK 306 includes the original VE60 buff log book, an old MoT certificate expiring August 1975, three old road tax discs, and an original handbook.
Report by bonhams.com