The Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club welcomes all owners, ex-owners and their families and all those with an interest in the marque.
The Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club was formed in 1948 by a small band of enthusiasts. Entirely separate from the company it was delighted that Phillip Vincent consented to be its first President with Phil Irving as Vice President. When production ceased in 1955, membership had risen to 1,800.
Despite fears about the longevity of the marque, the Club continued to flourish and grow until today, when it has a worldwide membership approaching 2,500. There are 30 Sections in the UK and 27 overseas Sections with Members spread across the world from Argentina to Vietnam.
There are many facets to the Club. Besides its determination to do everything in its power to keep the machines on the road there is a strong social life and an excellent Club journal. There are many local rallies throughout the world with an Annual Rally in the UK every year and an International Rally every four.
1999 was the Isle of Man, 2003 Canada, 2007 Australia and 2011 is scheduled for USA.
There are specialist Sections, Touring and Sidecar etc as well as those catering for all the fringe models with experts to advise on every model produced at Stevenage from the start in 1928 and even the Howard Davies’ models from Wolverhampton, Norvins and Eglis are also included in the fold. All these activities and more are covered in detail in the following pages – giving everyone sufficient reason to join us.
‘To continue riding our favourite motorcycle we must support each other. Membership of the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club is the best way to ensure this and make true friends who when needed offer encouragement and real help.’
MPH the journal of the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club, is published monthly and is a first class read for all those interested in Vincent motorcycles. Considered by many as the mortar which binds the Club together, all Vincent life is there.
Reports of recent events, technical articles and advice, news from the Sections, the correspondence is never dull and sometimes heated. Looking to the future and recording the marque’s past MPH is a rich mixture indeed!
Riding and Social Events
The Vincent comes into its own as a mile eater and the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy this attribute with a full calendar of events both near and far. Many of the UK Sections hold rallies at popular camping venues.
The French, German, Dutch and Scandinavian rallies are also popular with UK Members.
Closer to home, most Sections have regular meetings of the noggin and natter type and have their own programmes of social meets and runs. New Members are always welcome. In fact for anyone who is trying to rebuild their first Vincent early attendance at these meetings can save a lot of heartache later.
The Club could not hold its national events without the help of the local Sections and there is plenty of opportunity to get involved. The Annual is a weekend event over three or four days (normally at a venue which provides accommodation for those who do not wish to camp), whilst the Riders Rally is an event designed for those who prefer the old style ride there and ride back in a day.
The Club year culminates with AGM and Annual Dinner in October.
The Club holds most of the factory records and over the years has accumulated many machine details. It is recognised by the DVLA as the authorising body for the Vincent marque. The services of the Machine Registrar are available to Members and non-Members for a small fee to check the originality of, or to provide historical information on Vincent H.R.D. machines.
Spares and Technical Support
The Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club provides full technical information and support for its Members through its Technical Officer. There are also specialist Officers for less well known models and Egli/Norvin machines.
The Club is a major shareholder in The VOC Spares Company Ltd. which it set up in 1975. In 2006 they successfully met the challenge by the Club of supplying every part from stock to build a new Series ‘C’ Black Shadow (shown on the front cover of this leaflet). All parts are made to drawings supplied by the Club’s Drawings Programme which have been vetted by the Technical Committee for fit and function.
The shop is open six days a week and prides itself on same day despatch of most mail orders. It welcomes visitors for a chat and friendly advice. It ensures that the core Vincent technical publications remain in print and sources other titles of interest to Vincent owners.
Members get a ten per cent discount on their purchases.
The Marque’s History
Although the Vincent name is associated mainly with the 1,000cc V-Twins introduced immediately after WW2 the company had a history stretching back to 1928. That was the year a Cambridge undergraduate, Phillip Vincent, started making motorcycles using his own ideas on frame design. Advised that as no one had heard of Vincent he should start with a known name he bought H.R.D. and called his machines Vincent H.R.D.s.
A leading rider, Howard Davies, started building motorcycles in his own name, H.R.D.s, in 1925 and had won that year’s Senior T.T. on one. Despite numerous competition successes the company was not viable and folded in 1928. The first Vincent H.R.D.s had cantilever rear springing, a unique feature of Vincents throughout their history. Early models had an uncompromising triangulated frame.
Sales only really started when a conventional diamond frame was used from 1931 on.
At this stage Vincent was using proprietary engines, Rudge and JAP, and a combination of being badly let down in the 1934 T.T. by one supplier and supply problems with the other caused him, with the help of Phil Irving, to design his own high pushrod engine, the 500cc Single. The story then goes that a chance juxtaposition of two drawings at an angle led Phil Irving to design the first Rapide V-Twin, the Plumber’s Nightmare in 1936.
It was a 47 degree job squeezed into the existing frame. After the war came the iconic Vincents, 50 degree unit construction V-Twin ‘frameless’ models. This Series ‘B’ Rapide was joined in early 1948 by the high performance Black Shadow.
The Series ‘C’s were announced at the 1948 Show featuring Vincent’s own Girdraulic fork. There were also two 500cc models, the entry-level ‘B’ Meteor and the Series ‘C’ Comet in Black Shadow tune. There was also a racing model, the Black Lightning incorporating lessons learnt when Rollie Free established an American National record at 150mph.
The H.R.D. part was dropped from the name in 1950 to avoid confusion with Harley Davidson. The last models introduced were the fully-enclosed Black Prince and Black Knight in 1954 with production ceasing in 1955. In an attempt to diversify, the company had produced the Firefly cyclemotor, lightweight NSU-Vincents, industrial engines, the Amanda Water Scooter, a three wheeler and a number of industrial products. All these are catered for within the Vincent H.R.D.
- Vincent-HRD: Black Prince
- 1951 Vincent Black Shadow Auction – Vintage Motorbike Auctions & Sale – H&H
- 1954 Vincent Black Shadow Model “C ” For Sale Classic…
- 2007 Vincent Black Shadow First Ride – Motorcycle USA