Assembly Required: 1951 Vincent Rapide

1951-Vincent-Rapide-in -boxes

Since the start of this site back in mid-2011 we have had countless submissions from our readers. The majority have been cars, but we have also received a handful of motorcycle finds too. We do not have much two-wheeled expertise though so we have never featured one. Today we thought we would try something different and see what you guys think. There is a rare 1951 Vincent Rapide at auction right now on eBay with one day remaining.

1951-Vincent-Rapide-more-parts

This one is obviously not a barn find, but maybe it could be considered a backroom shelf find? Vincent was known for producing some of the fastest motorcycles on the road. In fact, many consider the Black Shadow to be the first super bike ever produced. The Black Shadow was essentially a higher performance version of the already quick Rapide like we have here. The engineering that went into these bikes was astounding for the day. Notice how everything bolts together instead of bolting to a central frame.

bonhams-1951-vincent-rapide

Here is what this pile of parts could look like some day. This one sold at auction in the UK last year for £24,150. Check out the page on Bonhams site for more information about what made Vincents so special. Then please take a moment and let us know what you think about the idea of seeing the occasional motorcycle here on Barn Finds.

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Comments

  1. d.chalmers

    That looks like a great and interesting restoration project!!

  2. Randy Rush

    I think its a great idea , boats also!

  3. Foxxy

    There sure are a bunch of missing parts. These bikes do bring a lot of money, but the Black Shadow is the one everyone wants and brings the most. This bunch of parts in no way worth 20K. In answer to your Q, I would like to see the occasional bike on here.

  4. Dan

    More bikes please!!! This one is over priced considering that you have to go over every part and assemble it.

  5. Peter Allen

    This is the one that was on the bottom of the Trinity river in Texas for a few years..

    • Jesse

      Can you elaborate on that Peter?

    • Foxxy

      you can tell by looking at these parts that this was not in a river for any length of time.

      • Foxxy

        I retract my statement that this didn’t look like it was in the river, because it was. this is the river bike. sorry for the confusion.

  6. Alan

    Looks like a joke at that price! But I also would like to see bikes occasionally.

  7. shawnmcgill

    Good grief! I just checked out the auction, and the thing is at almost $24K!!! Has everyone gone insane?

  8. Rick Matisak

    Yes! Bikes too!

  9. Tom Fair

    A Herb Harris restoration is over 100k, …plus the parts….check out recent Las Vegas auction..one just brought $134,000

    • Foxxy

      Just do a little inventory of these parts, them check the availability of these parts. It would cost too much to make a nice bike out of this. By what I see missing, I would say this is what is left of a parts bike. jmo

  10. erikj

    ya a bike once in a while would be fun i like anything rare and interesting. And what peter said about a bike found at the bottom of a river-I’d like to hear that story!

  11. erikj

    MY GOD!!!!!!! biddings at 24k/26 bids, somthing wrong here!! Where would you find the missing parts for such a rare bike.

    • Foxxy

      I used to restore and sell old bikes, nothing of this stature, but I remember a word we had for parts like this thing needs “Unobtainium”

  12. paul

    I knew a guy awhile back who had a mint Norton Mankx 500 cc single cyl.

  13. Jesse

    I just found the story that Peter referred to above. If this is the same bike, it has quite a past. Take a look here: http://lsvoc.vincent-hrd.co.uk/toogood.html

    • scot

      ~ good tale, for love of a vehicle.
      Girdraulic legs ? sounds like amalgam of Girling and hydraulic. am i close?

      • scot

        ~ got to love a fellow with a handle like ‘Vic Toogood’ !

  14. SoCal car guy

    I agree with randy Rush — yes on bikes and boats.

  15. Rancho Bella

    I am not a bike guy, so I will equate this to Lotus. If there was very early Elan or a Europa for sale (I can’t afford and Elite) and either one was restored (also I cannot afford), so, the very early car doesn’t come up often and it was a basket case…….would I want it?……..
    aaaaa ya……..
    Something I can afford and hunt for parts (fun).
    So the Vincent comes up for sale and Joe Smuck cannot afford a restored one but can afford a basket case so the prices are going to fly………i get it.
    A Vincent……..it justs bad arse………..I goggled some photos…….yep, bad arse…….

  16. BradL

    The top of the cast aluminum front fork is broken off (see last photo next to cigar box). Good luck finding a replacement.

  17. Michael

    Yes, bring on the motorcycles! Good to see a variety of vehicles! In fact, how about any barn find that is worth posting?
    Thank you!

  18. scot

    ~ yes! Black Shadow is one great bike. my brother Dean intro’d me to them and BSA Victors, his favorites of his bikes.

  19. ranger herb

    Well, I am a motorcycle guy, and that deal is a prize waiting to happen, I have a good friend up here in Montana that has a Vincient Rapide, in primo condition. Actually you can find most of the parts, and the Vincient Owner Club sometimes has parts manufactured. There is a company in Australia that is building some limited Vincients. The parts alone are probably worth what is shown in the photos. My buddy figures that his is worth about 75 grand. I would love to see more motorcycles on this website.

  20. jim

    yes to more motorcycles

  21. Scot V. McKinstry

    Anything in a basket isn’t worth more than $500. Especialy if you can’t find rare parts. The only way I would consider any basket case is if I had a machine/Fabrication shop.

  22. geomechs geomechs Member

    This might be the only way you can find a Vincent. About 40 years ago there was an ad in the local paper selling an Ariel Square Four, which was also in various degrees of disassembly. I got the paper less than a minute after it hit the stand and found the ad ten minutes later. Missed it by five minutes.

  23. Dan

    The ultimate in a super bike. YES please show more bikes.

  24. William E. Holt

    Yes, most definitely, you need to show more bikes on here. Really, anything with an engine as far as I’m concerned. Could you imagine someone pulling an old Decoliner out of a barn somewhere?

  25. John

    Maybe you could designate a day of the week for motorcycles as you did for station wagons. That way we will get the taste without being overwhelmed.

    • Jesse

      Great idea John! We don’t want to take away from the cars we all love, but something like “Motorcycle Monday” might add some nice variety.

      • FRED

        I AGREE JESSE,MOTORCYCLE MONDAY WAGON WEDNESDAY AND MAYBE FLOATING FRIDAY FOR BOATS AND ANYTHING THAT FLOATS.A FRIEND OF MINE WAS DOING A DEMO ON A BARN AND GOT HIMSELF A 21FT JET BOAT WITH A MOTION MOTORS 454 IN IT.WE TOOK IT ON IT’S MAIDEN VOYAGE ON THE HUDSON RIVER IN NY ON A COLD NOVEMBER DAY.WE HIT 86 MPH GOING ACROSS THE RIVER TO A MARINA THAT SERVED BEER AND FOOD AND WHISKEY TO WARM THE INSIDES. CLYDE MY FRIEND SAID YOU READY TO GO .I SAID HELL NO I’M STAYING HERE AND CALLING A CAB,NOW WAY IN HELL AM I DOING THAT AGAIN.HE AGREED AND WE GOT DRUNK CALLED HIS WIFE AND WENT BACK THE NEXT DAY WITH MY TRUCK AND THE BOAT TRAILER AND GOT THE BOAT. IT WAS FUN AS HELL IN THE SUMMER AND WAS GREAT FOR MARINA HOPING GETTING YOU THERE FASTER THAN ANYTHING I HAVE HAD IN THE WATER.I REBUILT THE MOTOR IN TIME FOR HIM TO RETIRE IN FLORIDA AND RAISE HELL IN THE WARM WEATHER.

  26. Dolphin Member

    The Vincent bikes like the Rapide and Black Shadow are legendary machines and are the holy grail for many bike guys. No puzzle about the bidding for this eBay lot. When it comes to history and ‘legend’ in vehicles, the limits can literally be……unlimited.

    Take a look at the bidding for the microcars in that museum that was featured a few days ago. Would you believe that RM got 9.1 million for those little cars? That’s what they got. If there was a museum of Vincents the results would be equally impressive.

  27. mtshootist1

    Well, I forwarded your article on that vincent to my buddy, he says that it would take between 20 and 35 thousand to get it running. That would include specialized machine work, polishing and chroming, etc. He also says that it would take about two years just to sort out the parts and figure what you need. I know that feeling, am rebuilding a 1969 Sportster that belongs to my wife, also a basket case. Probably have more into it than it will ever be worth, but it is pre-AMF.

  28. Rancho Bella

    Dolphin,
    I thought I had a finger on the pulse…………you make me look like the receptionist while you sir…..are the Doctor. I sit in awe…………..

    • Dolphin Member

      @Rancho:
      There’s a certain other car site that gets lots of attention that I used to read until I got so tired of the ‘attitudes’ of some of the posters that I haven’t gone back. BF does not have that problem, and for me it’s a lot more enjoyable to exchange ideas here. I’m still learning and trying not to make too many mistakes, so thanks very much for the kind words.

  29. joe howell

    You bet more bike!!!!!!!!!!! They’re my first love, old leaking Brit iron attracts me like a moth to a flame.

  30. Harley505

    You get my vote! Yes…..more Barn Find Bikes!

  31. Chris

    Yes, more bikes. Nortons, BSeers, Ariels, then old BMWs, Gileras, yes and even MV Agustas and Moto Guzzis. Should I have passed up a cherry Kawasaki H2 750 for $150? I’ll always wonder. As for Vincents, wasn’t there a production run of later bikes called Egli Vincents with Vincent engines and modern frames and especially brakes?

  32. fkostas

    You can buy every single part of the post war Vincents from the Vincent owners club GB.
    A couple of years back they were selling complete bikes made of new parts, they should still do. These are quality remanufactured parts made with modern techniques and materials not some Asian mass produced garbage,and of course they are priced accordingly. Also Patrick Godet makes complete brand new Egli Vincents in France. Fritz Egli gave him permission to use the name but, ouch, the price…
    There’s also other parts makers for these beasts in England. Mike Hailwood’s son (can’t remember his first name) had an ad some years back offering complete and new engines. He is not in the business any more but someone else must have bought the operation. So parts shouldn’t be a problem but money could.
    These bikes have an amazing rate of survival, something like 70% of the post war production is still with us. If we add to these all the “new” ones that are sold maybe we have more Vincents now than what the company ever made. More bikes in BF? Yes please.

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