Red Rapides

The upcoming Bonhams Las Vegas auction will be featuring a low mileage, fairly original, barn find Red Rapide, found in the Fresno area.  I remember stopping by Hugh Darby’s place somewhere in central California, back in the ’80s, and he had a Red Rapide among his large collection.  I’ve always wondered what happened to those bikes, and wondered if this Red Rap might have been his.  I googled around, and found a few blogs with the same Bonhams info.  One long time Vincent owner from Texas posted a comment on one blog, saying the bike couldn’t be all that original, since only the fenders and tank were red.  I had to straighten him out, so I added a comment to say that it is pretty well known that not all Red Raps were all (or mostly) red.  I know of many west coast Red Rapides that only had the tank and fenders red.Original LA Vincent section rideHere is a photo from the original LA Vincent club, on one of their club rides, and there are two such Red Rapides.  The man in the middle, towards the back, still owns his to this day.

3 Responses to “Red Rapides”

  1. Don Mathews says:

    This circa 1954 photo was taken at a Ventura, CA cafe stop on one of our many VOC rides. On the left is Frank Doherty next to his Black Shadow, with Herb Ailslieger at rear with his Red Rapide, and Don Mathews at right on his Red Rapide with girlfriend-soon-to-be wife Betty. In those days this was a favorite stop on entering the city of Ventura via Hwy 101 heading north. I have more photos of the airport rally north of Ventura on, as I vaguely remember, the same day.
    –Don Mathews

  2. TouringComet says:

    Thanks for the info, Don. I have always wondered where the cafe was.

    Based on the license plates, since they have a yellow background, the photo is 1956 or later. California switched from black to yellow backgrounds in 1956.

  3. […] man on the far right in the photo in the Red Rapides entry, Don Mathews, is a long time friend of my father, Frank Doherty. Don recently started to send […]

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