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Vincent "GREY FLASH" 1950
1950 VINCENT "GREY FLASH." Apart from entries from A.J.S. and
Norton, up to the middle fifties, the Senior T.T. entry jjsts have, with one
noteworthy exception, been completely avoided by British manufacturers since the
Pre-war, Vincent's had built a 500 c.c. engine with a high
camshaft and short "crossed" push-rods. This machine, in one form, was sold as
the "Comet". Then, in 1936-37, the Australian genius Phil Irving, who had
designed the "Comet", designed a 1,000 c.c. Vee-twin, employing two "Comet"
engines. As it was intended to go quickly it was named the "Rapide".
The Series B "Rapide" was launched in 1947, and soon afterwards Vincent's did the opposite to their pre-war effort—they halved the big twin to make a 500 c.c. single, the new-type "Comet". This had a similar bottom half to the 1,000 c.c. engine, with an impressively sturdy crankshaft assembly, but a separate Burman gearbox was employed to cut down costs.
The post-war "1,000" had no frame in the true sense (turn
forward two pages for details under "Gunga Din") and the 1,000 c.c. pieces were
used on the "500", except that a couple of struts were led from the seat nose to
the rear of the crankcase to replace the "missing" pot. Large alloy
As was expected, the "Grey Flash" entries didn't win the 1950
T.T., but they did lap surprisingly quickly, their best efforts being in the 84
m.p.h. region. A young apprentice at Vincent's made one go very well in
short-circuit events; his first win was on one at Boreham in August, 1951.