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One-Off Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow Looks Stunning

As if Vincent motorcycles in good condition, albeit restored, were not rare enough, here's one of the finest, rarest treat a vintage bike collector could dream of. Bonhams were in charge of finding a new owner for the bike, but that's the least interesting part of the story.
1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow 16 photos
1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow1951 Vincent Series C 'Red' White Shadow
The pictured bike is one of the rarest Vincent bikes money can buy, and that is because it appears to be unique. Most of the Vincent were Black Shadows, the same darkened machines like the one that made it into the motorcycling history books with a mind-boggling (for that time) 150.313 mph (241.853 km/h) top speed at Bonneville in 1948.

Well, the Series C Black Shadow machines were produced in a rather small quantity (1,507 units) between '49 and '52, but the bike you're beholding now is a White Shadow. Research of Vincent records made by Bonhams specialists mention that only 15 White Shadow machines were made.

Unlike the more common Black version, the White one has a polished bare metal engine and matching cases. Making things even more intriguing, this particular White Shadow has its gas tank, fork tubes, fender braces, brake backing plates and various other parts painted in Vincent's Chinese Red.

The Chinese Red color was reserved for the Rapide touring models, and why and how this White Shadow received such a paint is a thing of mystery.

The thirds owner of this bike wanted to restore the bike in the late 1980s, and before he started the restoration he had the brilliant idea to do some extra research about the bike. The metal parts were then painted in a strange green hue, Bonhams reports, but the owner figured out that the bike was actually a White Shadow, and therefore those parts should have been polished to a bare metal sheen.

Even more, the red paint was found in some of the fork's crevices commanded further research and the Chinese Red original color was discovered. Only the fork was left unpainted, but this White Shadow was restored to almost the same state as the original.

AMA Hall of Fame's Mike Parti took care of the engine overhaul, with Carillo conrods, and Amal MKII carburetors, an electronic ignition and a two-step, high-volume oil pump, that make the bike ready to roll.

Reproductions of the original steel touring fenders are offered with the bike, as it was fitted with stainless steel ones. The green aftermarket fenders, original carbs, and the magneto, alongside with some 200 pages of restoration receipts are part of the deal.

The authenticity of the bike was confirmed by the Vincent Owner's Club.

 
 
 
 
 

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