Archive Photo's

Although photographs of genuine racing Vincent's have never been particularly common, when I was putting the web-site together it suprised me how many I had found in various books and articles. I have included here a selection of those photographs.
I have also included numerous photographs of more contemporary racing Vincent's, that were around at the time I was racing (approx mid 1980's-90's). Obviously, few of these are likely to be genuine Black Lightning's, but never the less they are interesting in their own right.


1948 Black Lightning

Earliest Catalogue picture of Black Lightning - 1948
Notice Pre-War front brakes and early gearchange

1950 Black Lightning

1950 Catalougue picture of Black Lightning
Still showing many features of 1948 bike (probably earlier bike airbrushed with 'Vincent' logos)

1951 Black Lightning

1951 Catalougue Picture of Black Lightning
By this time showing correct wheels, later footrests, rear head with left port, later seat etc.

1950 Catalogue Cover

Front Cover of the 1950 Vincent Catalogue

1951 Black Lightning

1951 Black Lightning Drive Side.
This photo shows KVFTT magneto fitted and inlet stubs for clip fitting TT carburettors

Earls Court 1949 1

Supposedly Earls Court. Not sure if this is 1949 or 1950

Earls Court 1949 2

Same bike (and lady!) again from drive side

Reg Deardons Engine 1

Stan Duddington with the engine of Reg Deardons Supercharged Lightning, at the works in 1949

Reg Deardon Engine 2

Another shot of the same engine but a second engine can also be clearly seen. Although not confirmed, this looks to be a more standard Black Lightning engine, fitted with 2 front heads.

1949 Black Lightning

1949 Vincent Black Lightning on the way to Vic Proctor.
Notice fitment of speedometer, rear stand, dual seat(?) and even hand pump under tank!

Les Wharton Lighting

Les Whartons well known Black Lightning

Rollie Free 1948 Black Lightning

Rollie Free with first production Lightning 1948


This section shows some of the many Vincents I saw racing at the same time as I was racing myself. The period covers the early 1980's to the early 1990's and I am sure many of the bikes will be recognisable to those that have followed VMCC Historic Racing in the last 20 years. I have tried to put as many details as I remember from the bikes and riders, but if anyone (including those mentioned!) see's glaring errors, then please forgive my memory and let me know so I can put them right.

Ian Alexanders BL

Ian Alexander's very purposeful looking Black Lightning, as I remember a very fast bike.
All is not always what it seems though. . .

Ian Alexander BL 2

. . . As this timing side shot reveals. Ian (and his father Don) had very cleverly grafted on a Comet gearbox to a chopped engine. Very nicely done.
Ian and Don gave me much advice in the early days.

Micky Carter

Probably the most innovative and successful solo Vincent while I was racing was the Micky Carter Vincent shown here. I believe John Renwick helped with a lot of the early development. I purchased a set of similar exhaust pipes and false tank from John.

Micky Carter 2

Drive side shot of the same bike (showing steering damper peeping through petrol tank!).
I believe this bike is still successfully raced and developed by the Blowers.

John Renwick

John Renwick fettling one of his beautifully prepared sidecar outfits at Mallory in the mid 1980's

John Renwick Outfit 2

Another nicely prepared outfit of around the same era. I think this might also have been one of John Renwick's.
(If you're out there John, please let me know!)

Roly Mettam Outfit

And yet another beautifully prepared outift, this time at Donington Park, around mid to late 1980's.
This outfit prepared by Roly Mettam (before he started using the MogVin)

Chas Guy Vincent

Solo sprinter owned by that well known Vincent exponent, the late Chas Guy.
I think this shot was taken at a BMF sprint we were both participating at.

Chris Williams Outfit

Most people who followed VMCC Historic Racing around the late 1980's will remember the site of Chris Williams piloting this very potent outfit.
At one time they were almost unbeatable.

Chris Williams Engine

Close up of the engine of Chris Williams outfit.
Although it was always covered in a glaze of hardened Castrol R, I remember the engine being very well built and ultra reliable.

Unidentified Twin

Unidentified racing Rapide photographed at Mallory in the early 1980's. Notice Norton clutch conversion.

Another unidentified Twin

Another unidentified twin against the same wall around the same era (I know, I should have kept a copy of the race programme!)
Not sure if this might be Reg Boultons bike in its early form? (sorry Reg if its not)

Bishops Twin

Weight saving taken to the extreme!
This much modified twin belonged to another successful sidecar crew, Julian and Clare Bishop

Hancock Twin

And yet another twin outfit of the late 1980's. I have this photo as belonging to Hancock brothers, but not sure if that is right? (although I am sure I raced against it with Roger Allen a couple of times).
Update Sept 2010: Well known Vincent exponent Chris Chant has just informed me it was one of his. Sorry Chris, and yes I should have known that!

Hancock Engine

Drive side view of same bike. Notice racing carburettor and clutch breather cap

And Finally . . .

No prizes for guessing who the last 2 bikes belonged to, George Brown's Nero and Super Nero. Two of the most successful sprint bikes ever.
By the time these photographs were taken in the late 1980's, George's son Tony was 'demonstrating' them in historic sprint meetings, where I was fortunate enough to share paddock space with my Norton.


Drive Side view of George Browns Nero sprinter.
Note whopping GP carburettors

Super Nero

Super Nero at rest, showing huge supercharger mounted behind engine and fairing partly removed.
Awesome sight and sound