BMW Motorrad Spezial

1954 Vincent Drag Racer

1954 Vincent Black Shadow Drag Racer
This freshly-discovered Vincent Black Shadow is ensconced in the workshop of vintage specialist Glory on Hollywood Blvd, LA. “It was found in the Nevada desert after being hidden since the 1970s,” says Glory owner Justin Kell. “I’ll be ripping it apart as soon as we determine the history and decide which way to take the rebuild … It’s going to be a huge rebuild, but a very cool project to do.” In standard form, the Black Shadow could hit 125 mph (200 kph) with just 55bhp from a 1-liter OHV engine, so goodness knows how fast this drag bike was in its original form. The image is by the artist Coop: see more of this bike, plus a 1948 Series B Rapide, in his photoset.

  • That’s an amazing motorcycle. Looks contemporary to me. And the front forks have that ‘Confederate’ look about them.

  • misteradiant

    confederate indeed, mitch. that’s exactly what i thought, that someone saw a confederate fighter, didn’t have six figures to blow on one, but had a wicked vincent motor and a machine shop.

    can’t wait to see the finished product.

  • JR

    Anyone know anything more about this front end? It’s kind of a girder set up, but it has those stationary links coming from the bottom of the 4-bar mechanism… interesting

  • It’s a stock Vincent “Girdraulic” front end. Those who said Confederate should have their mouths washed out with soap. This the front end that came on all series “C” and later “D” model Vincents starting in 1950.

  • viv

    Modern and contemporary, even today I look can look at how minimalist the Vincent’s were, essentially boiling down the basic elements of a bike to its most basic forms.

  • ernie kirkland

    The manifolds on this Vincent look like those I made for Richard Slavens in Olathe, Kansas.

  • ernie kirkland

    I talked to Richard Slavens he thinks the vincent is his old drag bike he sold
    it to a gye named Magee in Las Vages. The heads are Vincent factory road
    racing heads.His bike had 1 27/32 delarto carbs on custom manifolds and
    drilleld spacers between oil tank and rear frame and custom front wheel
    made by Earl Dod in Kansas City.

  • Rick Slavens

    This was my father’s bike back in the 50s & 60s. I remember him building it in our basement. Feel free to email me and I will pass your questions on to my Dad (Richard Slavens – formerly from Olathe)

  • Rick Slavens