There’s an entire subculture of Vincent enthusiasts and owners who buy, rebuild, restore and ride these machines. You really have to be a part of it if you’re serious about owning one because almost every Vincent ever made has a history traceable to the factory. There are certain names known among this group as the guy to see if you want a particular part restored correctly or if you need that one bit of unobtanium that no one seems to have except for that one fellow in England or California or wherever. This sort of closed society means you’re going to pay the price.
The 1951 Rapide shown here started as a basket case which was transformed by a complete restoration into, according to the owner, a perfect, “as new” motorcycle, except for two small imperfections. The owner cites the many names and parts sources involved in the process which I have to assume are among the best in the business, which you will surely know if you’re in the group. He’s now going to sell it in order to purchase a Brough Superior, an even more limited society of owners and restorers. It must be quite a challenge to complete a restoration on rare machines like these.
I do like his thinking. It’s hands on owners like these that bring these machines back to life and keep them alive for future generations. He’s more interested in building and restoring than riding which means the rider or collector can start with a perfect bike, simply maintaining and preserving it until the time eventually comes to pass it on to its next owner.
If you’re willing and able to join this group, opening bid was $75K, this certainly looks like a good place to start.
This auction is over, but you can check to see if any other Vincent Motorcycles are for sale right now.