Frame no. RC4240B
Engine no. F10AB/1B/2340Rear frame no. RC4240B
Crankcase mating no. W57• Matching main/rear frame and engine numbers
• Restored to 1949 Earls Court Motorcycle Show specification
• Only 96 dry miles since completion in 2016
• Concours condition
• Offered from a private collection
The Black Shadow was indeed a legend in its own lifetime, and in the half-century since production ceased, the esteem in which this iconic motorcycle is held has only increased, fuelling the demand among discerning collectors for fine examples of the marque, such as that offered here.
A matching-numbers example, this Series-C Black Shadow was purchased by the vendor, a former treasurer of the VOC, in November 2004 from Mr Raymond Ross Lann of Nairn on Scotland’s east coast. ‘DBN 998’ was off the road when Mr Lann had purchased it in January 1974. He explained that the Vincent had been owned by a lighthouse keeper on the west coast of Scotland. When purchased, the machine was already in need of a complete rebuild but Mr Lann never got around to it. The Shadow remained barn stored for a further 30 years until the vendor heard about this ‘sleeping beauty’ and purchased it from Mr Lann (receipt on file).
However, it was not until 2016 that Andrew Kenningley of Southport was commissioned to carry out a high quality restoration to 1949 Earls Court London Motorcycle Show specification. The latter included stainless steel and chromium plating for parts normally cadmium plated, as well as stainless fastenings. The compression ratio on standard-size bores has been raised to 8.5:1 to improve performance, and the engine is reported to be an easy starter. In addition, a Dave Hills centre stand and V2 clutch have been fitted to make the Shadow more user-friendly. The vendor took delivery of the fully restored ‘DBN 998’ on the 3rd February 2017 and has covered a mere 96 dry ‘shakedown’ miles on the Vincent to ensure that everything is in working order. Accompanying paperwork consists of a copy of the Works Order Form, a VOC Dating Certificate, sundry restoration invoices, an old-style continuation logbook, and old/current V5/V5C registration documents.
Deliveries commenced in the spring of 1948 and only around 70-or-so Series B Black Shadows had been made before the Series C’s public debut at that year’s Earl’s Court Motorcycle Show. The most significant changes made concerned the suspension, there being a revised arrangement at the rear incorporating curved lugs for the seat stays and an hydraulic damper between the spring boxes, while at the front the new models boasted Vincent’s own ‘Girdraulic’ fork: a blade-type girder fitted with twin hydraulic dampers. These advances began to find their way onto production models during 1948, but it would be 1950 before all Vincents left the factory in Series C specification, by which time references to ‘HRD’ were being phased out. Only 42 ‘Vincent-HRD’ branded Series C Black Shadows are known to the Vincent Owners Club compared with 70 known Series Bs.