1949 Indian-Vincent Factory Prototype Offered For 1st Time At The Bonhams January’s Las Vegas Auction

In 1948 the manager of Indian Motorcycles, Ralph Rogers, and the director of Vincent HRD, Philip Vincent, agreed on a joint venture to manufacture and sell a hybridization of their machines to the American market. Two prototypes were created as a result: the better known Vindian – essentially an Indian Chief with Vincent motor, and the Indian-Vincent – essentially a Vincent Rapide with an Indian frame.

Both machines were one-off designs created at Vincent’s factory in Stevenage, England from two Chiefs shipped over from Indian’s Springfield, Massachusetts factory. Unfortunately, neither prototype was put into production before Indian’s demise just a few years later.

The singular Indian-Vincent combined the exceptionally fast and desirable Series C Rapide engine and components with Indian frame and electrics, and employed several distinctions aimed at US riders, such as high handlebars, additional lights, crash bars and converted left-side gearshift. The prototype was personally taken by Phil Vincent later that year to Australia, where it has remained most its life.1

This fully VOC-documented genuine 1949 Indian-Vincent prototype, a one-of-one motorcycle representing two of the greatest names in motorcycling history, will be offered for the first time at public auction. It carries an estimate of $250,000-$300,000. 16 Vincents have also been consigned with the following models of various vintage and specification represented: Comet, Rapide, Black Shadow, Black Prince and Black Knight.Bonhams’ seventh annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction will take place Thursday, January 26th at the Rio Hotel & Casino. For more information, visit Bonhams Las Vegas.

7 Responses to “1949 Indian-Vincent Factory Prototype Offered For 1st Time At The Bonhams January’s Las Vegas Auction”

  1. 1 MakeAmericaDumbAgain Dec 14th, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Sigh . What could of been/should of been and almost was if it were not for both parties inability to acknowledge the realities of the business world .

  2. 2 Bikerbob Dec 14th, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    This is not an Indian frame. It’s the standard Black Shadow frame.

  3. 3 David Monahan Dec 15th, 2016 at 9:51 am

    This is 99% Vincent. The stupid taillight is Indian.

  4. 4 Kiwi Indian Mike Tomas Dec 15th, 2016 at 10:02 am

    According to Jan/Feb 1949 Indian board room meeting minutes, Indian was extremely concerned about the US mc future. Their 2nd most profitable year was 1947 but that was due to the military guys returning, war restrictions off and a general good feeling. 1948 sales were down about 15%. From here on out predicted sales tumbled. Now that the GI’s had found their girlfriend, dated, marriage was next, a house, family and there went the mc therefore sales were forcast to decline for the forseable future. So in the grand scheme of things would this bike have been a success??? That we can only wonder.

  5. 5 Gym Dec 15th, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Indian dropped the idea after riders suffered sever burns on their legs due to heat from the rear cylinder. Company spokesman Biff Tanner called the Vincent engineers, “Butt heads” and left it at that.

  6. 6 Phil Pilgrim Dec 15th, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Gym what a load of bollocks! I own a Vindian and the exhaust is nowhere near your legs! This bike has much more than the taillight it’s got left hand gearchange/ right hand brake pedal, a unique headlight mounting to accept the headlight, the Indian parklight, horn, all the switches including a odd Indian ignition switch on the handlebars, a “jack shaft” drive system for the Indian generator quite complex to name a few different items. And a few other corrections, Phil Irving brought it to Australia in 1949 NOT Philip Vincent and it’s obviously in a Vincent frame, a Chief was shipped to Stevenage from Springfield it was converted to the Vindian the other seperate parts mainly from a Indian 250 Verticle model were used on this Indian Vincent and adapted to this unique machine

  7. 7 RoadKing Dec 15th, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Phil, I think Gym was making a joke referencing the ‘hot rear cylinder’ lawsuit on the 103 Harleys.

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Cyril Huze