By Wade Thiel
A Super Unique Engine Design
There’s a unique Vincent-HRD 998cc Series-A that will go up for auction in August. The motorcycle was a factory demonstrator and a road test machine in 1938 and 1955. It recorded over 100 mph at Brooklands in 1938. According to Bonhams, the bike could be the last machine to leave the factory, and it’s one of only 77 Series A Rapides. The bike was manufactured in 1938, but it never left the factory until 1959.
The unique engine here is said to have been crafted after two single-cylinder engine drawings were accidentally stacked together. That’s an awesome story, and I sure hope it’s true. The engine design does look interesting, and the performance of the bike is said to be extremely impressive for the time.
The original sales brochure for the 1938 Rapide said the following about the bike:
“The performance is electric. Power appears almost limitless, yet it is so smooth and controllable that it is a delight to ride, even in thick traffic. There is only one snag we have discovered in owning a “Rapide.” You never get a scrap with another machine, because no ordinary motorcycle can live with a “Rapide.” Here, at last, is a performance equal to the fastest T.T. models, coupled with silence, comfort, and tractability. A true Jekyll and Hyde.”
This bike will go up for auction at the Summer Strafford Sale that will be held on August 15 and 16. It’s a rescheduling of the event. At that auction, the bike is expected to fetch between $240,000 and $270,000. To learn more, check out the listing on Bonham’s site.
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