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
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 : firstname.lastname@example.org