Preface by Fritz Egli

With the preparation of this book, came numerous questions about my passion for the Vincent. How and why was I inspired to create a frame for that fantastic engine, details about my design choices, my successes in business, but also some failures such as my project to reproduce the Vincent engine in the 1970s. And, of course, the fact that many workshops have been manufacturing and selling unauthorized copies of my frames even today. In fact, dozens of questions and a lot of good memories, all wrapped up with intense feelings.

Everything started in 1953 when I met a Black Shadow for the first time while I was in the middle of my four-year apprenticeship as a precision mechanic in Zurich. I became the owner of this fabulous machine one and a half years later and fast forward, more than 60 years later, this Vincent is still my favorite bike utilizing the stock frame but with some improvements to the brakes and suspension

Today I ride it attached to a classic French Precision sidecar. I also recently upgraded my Shadow with a stunning Godet 1330cc engine delivering 98 horsepower. I cannot imagine a bike that could give me more pleasure considering I have had the privilege to build, ride and race many different dream motorcycles, all more attractive than the last. But this is the one. I started my riding experience with it and I will not separate from it for the rest of my life.

Fritz W. Egli

(Photo © Denis Boussard)

(Photo © Denis Boussard)

All the content of this website is subject to copyright – Philippe Guyony © 2015


Chapter 2

The very first Vincent specials

The last Vincent motorcycle left the factory one week before Christmas 1955 and was presciently labeled ‘The Last.’ It had to be clear that there would be no more machines of that breed, and enthusiasts were to be left on their own to organize the ‘after party.’  The Vincent HRD Owners Club was going to be the cement for those who continued to ride their Vincents daily, or to meetings, sometimes shipping their bikes overseas for international rallies. For the club racers, however, the ‘unacceptable’ was simply the fact that the performance of the Vincent would be frozen in time, whereas the competition was progressing every single day. If the brand had survived, the role of the customer-modifed Vincents would have been marginal, but as of now, these ‘specials’ would play a critical role in maintaining the image and the honor of the “World’s Fastest Motorcycle,” until the next big thing.

This chapter features the following main sections and 63 photos:

  • Nero: The first stab.
  • The NorVin solution became irresistible.
  • The Viscount: A first attempt to resume Vincent production.
  • The Parkin-Vincent: In the wake of Nero.
  • Curtis-Vincent: The NorVin concept pushed even further.
NorVin 1000 in Slimline featherbed chassis. (Photo © Miloš Myslivec)

NorVin 1000 in Slimline featherbed chassis. (Photo © Miloš Myslivec)

All the content of this website is subject to copyright – Philippe Guyony © 2015