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)

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Chapter 7

A world of Vincent specials

The architecture of the Egli-Vincent is simple and effective, and, because it is, it has broadly inspired specials builders since the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s.  Beyond the replicas or recreations presented in Chapters 4, 5 and 6, the ‘Egli design’ has also influenced many builders using other contemporary engines to remind us of Fritz Egli’s work. The launch of the Egli-Vincent also became a critical milestone in the ongoing history of the Vincent, as most of these specials are related to it. However, numerous workshops have tried out ‘something different’ without achieving much success; most of them are either one-offs or made in tiny volume. At the end of this chapter, I identify a pattern and classify all these specials into five different schools.

This chapter features the following main sections and 77 photos:

  • The Cees Fick: Specials from the Netherlands.
  • The French Nero: Could have it been the Series E?
  • The Seeley-Vincent: The missing link.
  • Trackmaster: A Vincent for the speedways.
  • The Vincati: The tidiest Vincent bitsa.
  • The Irving-Vincent: For the track only.
  • Six decades of Vincent specials: The summary.
The French Nero. (Photo © Michel Cottereau)

The French Nero. (Photo © Michel Cottereau)

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

Chapter 8

Other Vincent Adventures and the Future

There is so much more to say about the defenders of the faith, who have dedicated their lives “… to go fast on a Vincent.” We started this journey in the 1940s, with the very underpinnings of the legacy of the brand – Fame, Glory and Pride. Seventy years later, the Vincent could have been just a piece of 20th Century motorcycling history, but, fortunately, it is much more. In fact, the passion to ride Vincent motorcycles can only be equaled by the burning desire to go even faster – faster even than the 1000 Black Lightning, or the less known 500 Grey Flash. Although all attempts to resurrect the Vincent brand have failed, in many ways it is like the Phoenix, the immortal bird that rises from its ashes, and after which one of those attempts was named – Vincents have had many lives, and the band of enthusiasts, who have had the privilege to ride this fabulous motorcycle, will pass it on from this generation to the next: for them, it has become a symbol of their eternal passion.

This chapter features the following main sections and 117 photos:

  • Sprint and drag racing: Nero, Super Nero featuring George Brown, Mighty Mouse, Super Mouse featuring Brian Chapman, Pegasus and Barn Job.
  • The Egli-Vincent in a sprinter outfit and raced by Ray Elger.
  • Returning to Bonneville on a Vincent (until today).
  • The Courage-Vincent.
  • The American way (chopper, bobber and pro-street styles).
  • The Vindian and Indian-Vincent.
  • Phil Irving’s 4-valve head design finally implemented.
  • 1995-2008: The latest attempt to revive the Vincent-HRD brand.
  • Will the Vincent come back one day?
The Vindian, one of the numerous side stories about the Vincent with choppers, bobbers and other pro-street. (Photo © Frank Kletschkus)

The Vindian, one of the numerous side stories about the Vincent with choppers, bobbers and other pro-streets. (Photo © Frank Kletschkus)

Check also the menu tabs at the top of the page: “The Story”, “What you will learn!”, “Content Summary”, “Models covered by the book”, “About the author” & “Pre-order your copy”

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