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Thread: 1939 Vincnet

  1. #1

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Bethesda, Ohio

    Re: 1939 Vincnet

    I'll take two...

    You Ain't A Man Till You've Rode A Pan, I'm A Man...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Beautiful Northern NM

    Re: 1939 Vincnet

    The only real Series A (Plumbers nightmare) I was in close proximity of was one owned at the time by Daniel Statnekov. It was in as used condition and was wonderful. He had it parked in his office and was very generous in allowing a close look. However despite its rarity I would much rather have a "B" or "C" in that order (I like the look of the Bramptons better than the Girdraulic), the "D"s leave me a bit cold. An old friend sold a really rare oddball version of a Lightning a few years back. In my younger years I passed on several because I felt they were too hard to find parts for in the pre-internet world and the high desert Southwest. Why pay $2K for a Vincent when you could buy a Knuckle for $500??
    Friends help friends move,
    Real friends help friends move bodies!

  4. Re: 1939 Vincnet

    leave it to the British to produce a really horrid motorcycle not far south of a half million dollars. It's just a reality. Don't get me wrong, i own 2 British bikes and love 'em both.

  5. #5

    Re: 1939 Vincnet
    Well, this is quite a story
    We know that engine # V1016 was built in December 1938. Along and with most of its other parts this was sold to the “Guru of Series-A machines”, Bob Stafford. Likely in the 1950’s, Stafford obtained the current frame #DV 1755.

    Stafford held onto this machine and frame as a basket case until the about 1977, when he traded it to David Dunfee in the United States. Dunfee bought the basket case from Bob Stafford in boxes because Stafford needed a Red Rapide engine and Dunfee had one. They traded for the engine and monetary consideration. Dunfee didn’t have the ability to rebuild the bike and held onto it while looking for an assembler. He found a fellow motorcycle club member who said he could do the job. However, after a few months Dunfee was told that the club member “just didn’t have enough time”. Dunfee then ran into Carlton Palmer who had a Series-A for sale that was assembled but in very rough condition. He had heard Chas Williams was looking for a Series-A. Williams bought the bike.

    Chas Williams got a nice engine and frame with the vast majority of parts. He was the kind of man who wanted to do his own work and do it to a high standard, so this was a good opportunity. I knew Williams well enough to know that he was a master assembler and machinist who spent most of his free time and adult life working on Vincent’s and Brough Superiors. Dunfee bought Palmer’s bike and Williams went home with a smile. This would be where he was to begin his work on what has been called “the rarest and most desirable of all motorcycles.”

    Williams worked on this bike for decades. He restored it using the majority of original parts from the early bike combined with a frame made from a model produced slightly later in the same year as engine. This frame incorporated many improvements over the earliest units. Williams even constructed a test bed to bench run the motor. The bike is stunning in every regard. Williams kept this one close to him at all times, housed in his beautiful home overlooking the Pacific in Palace Verdes, California.

    At the time the bike was acquired by Bill Melvin, it was only waiting for two components that Williams hoped he could find in original parts: two small levers that operate the compression release mechanism. Unfortunately, Williams passed before he was able to source the levers or finishing wiring the bike. We have since acquired his collection and finished these restorations. The bike has been recently run a few times. Runs and stops well, it could use some final sorting of spark, timing, and brakes.

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