Original Vincent To Headline Bonhams Classic Motorcycles Auction.

This stunningly original 1952 Vincent Rapide in Chinese Red has been untouched for nearly half a century. Discovered in Fresno, California where it had been sold new by the local Fresno Indian dealer, this time capsule machine has 8500 original miles, matching numbers and California black license plate. Its auction estimate is $85,000-$100,000.

It will lead the list of over 200 classic motorcycles at the Bonhams Auction to be held January 6th at the Las Vegas Imperial Palace Hotel.

Bonhams is no stranger to the two-wheeled market and sells, on average, more than $8 million worth of motorcycles annually around the globe. Its list of successful sales and world-record prices is renowned and includes motorbike-specific auctions such as Quail Lodge, the über-popular Stafford Show in England, the BMW Museum in Germany, and the former Legend of the Motorcycle in Half Moon Bay, not to mention mixed car/bike sales such as the Petersen Auto Museum in Los Angeles. To consign a motorcycle or collection of motorcycles to this first annual sale, interested sellers may call 415-391-4000 or visit Bonhams Motorcycle Department.

8 Responses to “Original Vincent To Headline Bonhams Classic Motorcycles Auction.”

  1. 1 nicker Jun 13th, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Not every thing is easier and more available in the Information Age.
    There was a time when all types of “vintage” scooters were to be found in various barns and garages.
    That could be bartered or negotiated for without consulting a banker.
    When side valve V-twins were seen a relics, to be given away or scrapped.

    There was a time when a young man cold scrape together the parts and tools needed to build his own unique cool ride from readily available old parts and enjoy both the process and the result without the scrutiny of mutliple Government bureaucracies (or an army of posers for that matter).

    A time when the well healed stuck to sipping wine and nibbling cheese around awning covered sports cars, who wouldn’t be caught dead around a motorcycle of any sort.

    But that was another time.


  2. 2 madpuppy Jun 14th, 2010 at 6:28 am

    Very well said nicker.

  3. 3 chrism13 Jun 14th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    How I long for those days , I bought a 1941 , 61 c.i. knuckle for $1000 . A complete bike + extra frame and choice of H-D springer or wide glide front ends . You couldn’t buy either of the front ends for that now . Thanks to pirate baby boomers !!

  4. 4 chrism13 Jun 14th, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Oh , I forgot to say that was in 1975 . Came with a title !

  5. 5 Wolfman Jun 14th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    My first bike, an old 650 BSA, was given to me buy a guy around the corner who had no room in his garage for any more machines or parts. I and a friend were admiring his collection and he just said take it if you can move it. We were 12 years old, the rear wheel was off it, but we got the thing moved and working. Now that bike would probably cost me an arm and a leg to buy! I wish I had kept that one and my last British bike too, a 650cc, 5 speed Triumph Bonneville.

  6. 6 Dave Rosenfield Jun 16th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    I have been riding Vincent moddercikles since 1957…my current 1949 BRapide is my 13th. Vincent and so it does not take me long to look at a Vincent..
    I believe that the use of the term”stunningly original” requires a great deal of justification and I hope that Bonhams has persued the reality of the use of that description…
    That machine does not look to be of ‘whole cloth’.
    If it were truly a RED there would be quite a large number of red painted componants besides the three (easily removable) componants vis.: tank and mudguards…
    Where has it been hiding all of these years? If it truly has only ?5,800 mi ? from new why does it sport a new modern tire?
    It is certainally too shiney to have been found leaning against the side of a milking stall in some forgotten barn…
    There is one born every minute and a seat for every fool.

  7. 7 Pigvincent Jun 16th, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Looks too good to be true…Almost certainly is..
    I think the shiny “Chinese red” paint on the three main panels grates like two pieces of dry toast against the dull, black paint of the other components and the alloy parts… The upright mounted 5″ shadow clock may also be one of the less stunningly original bits.
    Caveat Emptor…

  8. 8 TouringComet Dec 10th, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Dave R., not all Red Rapides were mostly red with little black. My father bought a Shadow new in 1954, because his best pal had previously purchased a new Red Rapide, and the two of them went to South Dakota, the Rapide and my dad on a AJS 500cc single. When they got back, my father said that’s it, I’m getting a Vincent, and bought a Shadow. I know of many Red Rapides besides the one my father’s friend bought, from the west coast. It seems that quite a few Red Rapides sent to the west coast were all from a batch that had only the touring fenders and tank red, the rest black.

    See http://www.vincentstreamliner.com/OldPics/ for pictures of the ride my father and his friend took, along with other pics. The picture Vin Ride 8 shows my father second from the left with his Shadow, Herb with his Red Rapide (which he still owns from new), and Don on the right. Both Don and Herb’s Rapides are only red on the fenders and tank from the factory.

    There was a Red Rapide on the cover of a British old cycle magazine back in the ’80s. The owner painted it all red, even though the article said he checked with the club, and the factory records clearly stated fenders and tank red. There were two main batches of Red Rapides, and it appears that one batch had minimal red, the other almost all red.

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Cyril Huze