Vincent Homepage

Hello, my name is Paul Norman and this is my website, describing the restoration of a Vincent motorcycle that I bought in bits, way back in 1988.
I started putting the website together in summer 2002, just for a bit of fun really. At first I was just going to make it a single page with a couple of photographs, but as I started getting more into it, it became a project in it's own right. As I write this update (Feb 2006), I have just expanded the overall format of the website to account for other restoration interests I have. However, I wanted to keep the Vincent section seperate, and in the format as it was originally published, which is what you see here.

As you might have noticed from looking at other parts of the site, I have not made much progress on the Vincent restoration for a couple of years, in fact I seem to have worked on everything but the Vincent! Well I am sorry about this, and for those that have continued to come back to the site expecting updates, please accept my apologies, but I hope you have found other items of interest. Rest assured though, the Vincent is still sat there in my workshop (in large lumps) and will be revisited at some point in the near future - probably after I have finished the current Norton I am working on this summer.
Please keep sending me emails though, it has been a pleasure talking to so many like minded Vincent enthusiasts over the last 3 years and I hope that will continue.


As you look around the site, please click on the photographs if you would like to see them in more detail.

Background

Although Vincent's did not make their name specifically through competition, (unlike it could be said Norton's or Velocette's), never the less they do have a long history of Road Racing, going back to the early days of HRD and indeed Howard R. Davis himself.

Vincent-HRD made 2 competition models after the second world war, the 500cc Grey Flash and the 1000cc Black Lightning. Although neither made a huge impression on the Grand Prix circuits at the time, they have left a reputation for exotic rarity and (in the case of the Lightning anyway) almost mythical power. Indeed, they were both made in such small numbers that it is probaly fair to say that the number of replicas existing today far outweighs the number of genuine articles actually made!

My own personal interest in the Vincent marque stems from my father, Les Norman. By the time I was born, in 1962, my father already owned road going examples of both the 500cc and 1000cc variants and still owns the 1951 Comet he purchased in 1957.

I started historic road racing (VMCC - UK) in the mid 1980's, racing single cylinder Norton's. However, I always hankered for a Vincent twin and was fortunate enough to purchase a 'basket case' in 1988 with a view to turning it into a full blooded Black Lightning Replica. The bike was missing a few minor components (like wheels, petrol tank, running gear and the like. . .), but I was still hopeful to have it racing within a couple of years.

Well its now over 14 years later and the bikes still not finished! But I suppose I have done a lot of other things along the way and although my priorities have now changed, (I no longer race actively myself), I am still just as keen to get the bike finished and hear it fire up in anger.

This web page documents the build of my bike so far and although I do not pretend to be an authority on the subject of racing Vincents, I hope it might help other enthusiasts with a similar interest.

I certainly found that the rarity of this bike made both finding genuine parts and information a struggle. So please feel free to look around the site and if you have anything of interest to add (or errors to point out!), why not e-mail me at : paul.norman@racingvincent.co.uk