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Vincent HRD "GUNGA DIN" 1951
George Brown and his big twin-Vincent are seen here in action at Shelsley Walsh in September 1951.
1951 VINCENT-H.R.D. "GUNGA DIN." Until he left the Vincent
works in late 1951, George Brown raced a factory 1,000 c.c. n»in in scores of
road races, sprints and hill climbs each year. The machine, whilst used as a
mobile test bed for anything new being developed, was not radically different in
any way from the production models built. It was virtually the prototype of the
factory's "Black Lightning" racer.
The big twin was essentially similar in conception to the Series A "Rapide", but was much "cleaner" externally, with no outside oil pipes apart from the feed and return to the tank. Instead of being housed in a frame, like the Series A, the post-war big twin-engine was part of the frame. A box girder also formed the oil tank and incorporated the steering-column tube at the front and the rear suspension anchor point at the rear.
A four-speed gearbox was built in unit with the motor, and so
the pivot for the rear suspension could be fixed at the rear of the massive
crankcase-cum-gearbox castings; a triangulated rear sub-frame worked on this
pivot and was controlled by two compression springs and a hydraulic damper just
under the seat nose.
These used the traditional girder layout; the blades were of forged light alloy of oval section. Control was by two spring units compressed between the ends of the bottom rear fork spindle and points near the hub on the fork blades. A hydraulic damper was fitted between the top steering-column spindle and the bottom fork spindle—in the position usually occupied by a girder fork's spring. This gave a "girder" fork an amount of travel comparable with that of telescopies and the machine had a much stronger front end. Almost unbeatable in the 1,000 c.c. class at sprints and hill climbs.
The rider/machine combination were also frequent competitors at airfield circuits.