Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Today in motorcycle history, December 16, 1955





  It's a solemn day in Stevenage as the last Vincent Black Prince rolls off the assembly line.

  The Black Prince was described by Phillip Vincent as a “two-wheeled Bentley”. One of two Series D models designed to revitalize the brand's styling, the nearly fully enclosed Black Prince featured a number of design changes, not least of all, the innovative enclosure offering weather/road grime protection to the discerning rider, allowing them to wear proper business attire rather than those cumbersome riding leathers. Another feature was the center-stand, which could be foot-operated from the rider's seated position, making it easier to dismount.

  The Black Prince was launched at the 1954 Earls Court motorcycle show, together with the 998cc Vincent Black Knight and the 500cc Vincent Victor (which never went into production as only the prototype was ever built). There was a lot of interest but much of it was critical, and the Black Prince was termed the motorcycle you either love or hate. "The Motor Cycle" road tested a Prince and concluded that it handled as well as the Black Shadow, but with better gas mileage.

  Failing to generate the sales they had hoped for, the Series D models would prove to be Vincent's swan song and the last Black Prince rolled off the assembly line on December 16, 1955. Only 120 were produced.

  Today in motorcycle history proudly supports the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD). www.nabd.org.uk