A 1939 Vincent HRD Series-A Rapide rescued from being scrapped has been restored and is now up for auction for an estimated value of between £220,000 and £260,000 at the Bonhams Stafford sale in April.
The Vincent Series-A Rapide twin is the penultimate bike built and despatched from the Stevenage factory in 1939 before the outbreak of World War Two. It’s one of just 65 left in the world today and has been in the same family since 1959.
The bike will be acutioned at the Stafford Classic Bike show at the Staffordshire County Showground on April 26.
The bike was bought by Harry Lloyd in ’59 for £10 and an Amal TT carburettor and was used for many years for family trips around the UK. After a decade of use the primary chain snapped while the bike was travelling through the suburbs of Liverpool. In 1968 the HRD was dismantled, pending later restoration and stored in a Liverpool lock-up garage.
A further decade later the bike was still in storage but an administrative error meant the ownership of the garage transferred to someone else. When Lloyd arrived the padlocks had been cut off and the bikes stored there were being loaded into a skip.
Bonhams’ press release states: “After much argument, it was decided that the bikes couldn’t be left, and so were transported back to Lloyd’s Liverpool home and stored in the rear bedroom, where they remained undisturbed for the next 15 years.”
Bonhams motorcycle expert Ben Walker said: “In 2007 restoration of the Vincent finally began, but sadly Mr. Lloyd passed away before seeing the finished rebuild. No doubt he would have been very proud of the finished machine.
“Seven years of restoration have resulted in a magnificent motorcycle completed to Concours standard. Owned by the same family for the past fifty years, Bonhams Stafford sale offers a rare opportunity to acquire this highly desirable machine – one of the holy grails of the motorcycle world and a must for any major collection.”