The very first Vincent Black Shadow, JRO 102, built in 1948.
(Photo courtesy Phillip Tooth)
The Vincent Owners Club is all set for its 2008 North American Vincent Rally August 24-29 in Idaho Springs, Colo. 2008 holds special significance for the marque as the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vincent founder Philip Conrad Vincent and the 60th anniversary of the Vincent Black Shadow and Vincent Black Lightning. Based on the standard 45hp, 998cc V-twin Rapide, the 55hp Black Shadow and its even more powerful sibling, the 70hp-plus Vincent Black Lightning, were the undisputed kings of their day.
Considered by many as the world’s first Superbike, Vincent motorcycles were produced at Vincent’s Stevenage factory from 1928 until 1955, when the innovative English manufacturer (Vincent made the world’s first production mono-shock rear suspension) turned out its last motorcycles. But that hasn’t stopped interest in the brand, with Vincents more popular today than they ever were in their heyday of the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Colorado Vincent fans and Vincent Owners Club members Peter and Mickey Allen are the moving force behind the Colorado rally, and they’ve put together an ambitious and active schedule of events for fans of the Stevenage marque. Headquarters for the week will be Idaho Springs, a historic mining town in the Rocky Mountains less than an hour west of Denver, but the real action will be in nearby Central City on August 25, where the rally will hold a Vincent Bike Show on Central City’s Main Street, giving visitors to the Colorado gambling town an interesting sight as they roll out of the gambling halls lining Central City.
The rally also includes numerous rides, including a trip the next day, August 26, to Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park via the Peak-to-Peak Highway. This is one glorious piece of blacktop on any motorcycle, let alone a Vincent, with spectacular views of the Continental Divide and surrounding territory.
The next day’s itinerary, August 27, takes riders and their Vincents for another jaunt along the Divide with a morning ride to Mount Evans on the world’s highest paved road, followed on August 28 by a more leisurely ride to Georgetown, home of the Georgetown Loop, a narrow-gauge railway that takes tourists up into the surrounding mountains.
The grand finale will be at the 2008 Rocky Mountain Concours d’Elegance August 30-31, on the grounds of the historic Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. Formerly a classic car-only show, the Rocky Mountain Concours will also host a special exhibit of Vincent motorcycles, featuring a class for 500cc single-cylinder Meteors and Comets and 1,000cc twins, including Rapides, Black Shadows and Black Lightnings.
If you go, keep an eye out for friend of the magazine Dennis Gage, host of cable TV’s My Classic Car and creator of the up-and-coming motorcycle series Trippin’ On Two Wheels, easily the best two-wheeled motorcycle show to ever hit TV, who will be filming for upcoming episodes during the Broadmoor doings.
This is going to be a special rally and easily the biggest Vincent event in North America this year, making it a must-see for any and every Vincent owner. You can get more information on hotels and registration at Peter Allen’s Vincent rally website or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org