A 100,000 Mile Vincent, Touring Rapide F10AB/1/8920

When the So Cal Section hosted the 1991 International Vincent Rally, a special booklet was produced and provided to the entrants.  Here is the story from that booklet, of a high mileage Touring Rapide, as told by Al Mark.

“In the summer of 1954, a young blueprint rider in Los Angeles purchased a new Touring model Rapide, engine #8920 from Hawthorne Motor Sales in Hawthorne, California.  At 2000 miles, the shifting fork pins had to be replaced due to a fault in the hardening.  The rider arrived at the shop at 7:30 AM and had the gearbox out of the bike when the owner, Marty Dickerson, arrived.  Marty replaced the pins and the rider had the bike together and running by 12:30 PM.  Except for primary chains and adjuster springs and clutch linings, that was the only internal repairs done to the bike until it was overhauled at 100,000 miles.  At 46,000, the driven rear drum separated and was replaced with a ribbed Shadow drum.  Normal maintenance was performed at regular intervals.  The first set of points lasted 72,000 miles and the generator was serviced at 30,000 mile intervals.  Three voltage regulators were used and the electrical system never failed.  After 4-1/2 years of being used on a delivery schedule the owner turned to driving trucks and the Vincent was used for transportation to and from work.  In late 1959 the engine was rebuilt.  It was in remarkably good condition for the type of use.  There were few freeways at that time and over 90% of the mileage was accumulated on city streets.  Dag colloidal graphite in 50 weight Valvoline oil was used throughout the first 40,000 miles in the engine only.  K.L.G. FE50 plugs and Union 76 regular gas worked well.  Champion plugs would foul immediately.  Tires lasted 15,000 miles, primary chains 30,000, and rear chains 15,000.  Purchase price new was $1,260 plus tax and license.  In 1960 it was sold to Joe Powers for $600.  The machine’s present whereabouts is not known.  I certify these statements to be true and correct.  Al Mark.”

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