Post Listing Update: This Rapide did not meet reserve despite 20 bids up to $49,100 on eBay.
The baby brother to the legendary Black Shadow, the Vincent Rapide was sold from 1936-55 in 3 distinct ‘Series’. The final run was the Series C, which commenced in 1949. It offered the Rapide as a base model and the Black Shadow as the higher state of tune.
The Rapide’s 998cc V-twin was good for 45 horsepower – the Black Shadow got an additional 10hp. By the standards of the 50’s, this motorcycle was absolutely incredible. Top speed was about 120 miles per hour, and you got between 50-60 miles per gallon, to boot. MSRP was originally $1,250 – nowadays you’ll be lucky to snag one for less than 20 times that amount. For more information and a pleasant story about someone riding a Series C Rapide on the PCH in Big Sur, check out this article from Motorcycle Classics.
This example (VIN: F10AB1) shows 2,116 miles on the odometer, though the seller doesn’t specify if that number is accurate or not. The previous owner moved from England to California in 1988 and brought this Rapide with him, but he had a document restoration performed before the move. Before the seller acquired it, the bike had a top end “overhaul” by famous vincent restorer Dick Busby (RIP). When the seller acquired the bike in 2003, he lent it to a museum for nine years. Everything is said to work but there are some modifications to know about – 19″ Akront wheels, new Amal carbs, 12V electric system, 150 mph speedometer, and more.
Find this Rapide for sale in Sacramento, California with bidding up to $48,426 and the reserve not yet met