Just 107 of these ‘Chinese Red’ Vincent Rapides were produced by the factory and exported to the USA. They were distributed by the Indian Sales Corp. who had a large dealer network but no overhead valve ‘V Twin’ to compete with Harley-Davidson, Vincent motorcycles had no dealers in the USA and so a deal was struck, the high handlebars, touring mudguards and bright red paintwork specifically requested for the American market. This genuine example was dispatched from the works 11th July 1950, a late model series B, and was sent to Indian Motorcycles, Springfield Massachusetts. Original registration records show it being in New York state in 1957 until 1964. It was imported back to the UK approximately 30 years ago but remained unregistered and unrestored until 2009. Having been purchased as project it was not known that it was a rare ‘Red’ Rapide until the black paint was removed and so revealed the true colour underneath. Ironically many of these red touring Rapides were repainted in the USA as they became hard to sell and the trend reverted the original rather drab and very British black that virtually all bikes were sold in at the time.
The bike was comprehensively restored by the current owner, with further engine work completed by Vincent specialists Maughan & Sons and remains in absolutely pristine ‘show’ condition it has only covered aprox 144 test miles. The UFM number matches the engine number, as shown in the factory record card, the engine also has correct matching mating numbers. ‘Red’ Rapides’ very rarely come to the market and this really is an exquisite example, it is supplied with the UK V5 registration document, a copy of the factory records, USA ownership certificates and a copy of of the Classic Motorcycle from Nov. 2012 in which the bike featured. A beautiful and rare motorcycle this is a true collectors item one not to be missed.