Vincent 1950 Comet 499cc 1 cyl OHV 3311

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Description

Vincent 1950 “Comet” 499cc OHV single frame # RC/1/5470 engine # F5AB/2A/3570 rear frame # RC/1/8728

In 1928 Phil Vincent acquired HRD Motors Ltd. and formed the Stevenage-based Vincent-HRD company; JAP and later on Rudge Python engines were used. In 1932 Phil Irving joined the company and by the end of 1934 the Vincent/Irving designed 500cc Comet engine was presented. It featured a high camshaft and short pushrods angled at 62 degrees. The makers guaranteed a 90 mph top speed.
The war stopped motorcycle production for a number of years: at the 1948 Olympia Show the new series C Comet was presented. The HRD initials were deleted from the factory’s models after Philip Vincent became aware that potential American buyers were confused because they wondered if there was a connection with Harley-Davidson. The 84x90mm high cam single delivers 28HP@5,800 rpm with a compression ratio of 6,8:1. The engine is used as the main frame member and the front suspension consists of hydraulically dampened girder forks, which were considered more suitable than the common telescopic type. The rear end is sprung by a cantilever system with hydraulic damping.
The Comet continued in production until 1954, offering the same degree of refinement as its bigger brother, albeit with reduced performance. Even so, the Comet combined a 90mph potential with excellent fuel economy, and was the ideal touring mount for the discerning rider who placed civility of manners and quality of construction above outright performance. An expensive machine to produce, the Comet did not sell as well as its maker had hoped and was dropped when the Series-D range was introduced. Production of all Vincents finished by the end of 1955. Its creator was an uncompromising perfectionist who refused to build his machines down to a price; a Comet would cost about 50% more than a Norton ES 2.

This Comet was despatched in March, 1950 to a dealer called Reynolds in Liverpool. The rear frame member has been exchanged at some time. Its early history is not known, but from 1969 till 2016 she was owned and cared for by a gentleman who has kept a very comprehensive history file from 1969 on, with invoices from maintenance work and new parts, a collection of about forty tax discs from June 1969 till May 2014, copies of MPH Vincent Owners’ Club magazines, registration documents and various other clippings. The Comet is in good overall condition and comes with 12V conversion, Amal concentric carb and Smiths 120 mph speedometer.