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1952 Vincent Series C Touring Rapide Found in Ojai

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1952 Vincent Series C Touring Rapide

Spotted in Ojai, California is a 1952 Vincent  Series C Touring Rapide for $90,000 USD.   This is a very rare bike with only 1 owner since new.  The Rapide offered here is a spectacular find!! It is not only rare and confirmed as one of the 32 red tinware on black frame machines with all matching numbers known to the Vincent Owners Club, but it is a one-owner barn-find in mostly complete condition, ready for re-commissioning as a rider with lovely patina, or restore it for show. Full VOC documents included.  This motorcycle is selling with a clear title.

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VIN:  F10AB/1/8353

Price $90,000 USD

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In the late 1940’s, Vincent in England and Indian in the US were both facing serious issues. Vincent had a high-performance motorcycle, but no real dealership network in the U.S., while Indian had many faithful dealers, but was hamstrung with out-of-date designs. After a stateside summit between Philip Vincent and Indian boss Ralph Rogers, a deal was struck to sell Vincent’s in the U.S. Eventually the Indian Sales Corp. would market a multitude of British brands, including Norton, Matchless and Royal Enfield as well as Vincent. While some were re-badged as Indians, it was decided Vincent would get a cosmetic makeover–a dramatic color change.

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History does not record why the exact hue, Chinese Red, was chosen. But the color, a bright reddish-orange believed by the Chinese to ward off evil, certainly had the effect of drawing attention, a particularly good quality if you want your motorcycle to stand out in showrooms awash in shiny black paint and glinty chrome.
The Touring Rapide model, with its substantial fenders, was the perfect all-red candidate. Almost every surface was covered – gas tank, fenders, frame members, suspension, headlight, tool tray, fender stays, sidestand, even the rear brake lever! Of course, as any good marque historian knows, there are deviations, or as Philip Vincent himself is reported to have said, “There’s no such thing as a standard Vincent.” What we do know from VOC records is that 32 Rapides left the factory with Chinese Red bodywork hung on the usual black frames, and these few bikes have come to be known as ‘Red/Black’ Rapides.

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The Rapide offered here is a spectacular find!! It is not only rare and confirmed as one of the 32 red tinware on black frame machines with all matching numbers known to the Vincent Owners Club, but it is a one-owner barn-find in mostly complete condition, ready for re-commissioning as a rider with lovely patina, or restore it for show. Full VOC documents included.

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