The Vincent-HRD Comet was developed as an advanced half-litre sporting motorcycle by Vincent-HRD, and sold alongside its similarly-engined siblings the Comet Special, the TT replica, and the Meteor.
Of course, the most famous Vincents are the V-twin models, particularly the Black Shadow and Black Lightning. But as any Vincent historian will tell you, the legend of the V-twin began when engine designer Phil Irving noticed two blueprints for the single cylinder engine overlaid as a V – and began work on building one of the fastest and most desirable V-twin litre bikes the world has ever seen.
Long before the Black Shadow or Black Lightning were even a twinkle in Irving’s eye, his focus was on the Meteor and the Comet, the latter of which was the company’s sporting offering capable of 90 mph – if one could find a nice empty stretch of motorway that was unpatrolled by the rozzers.
The Vincent-HRD Comet is an impressive motorcycle, even over 80 years since it was first released to the public. Australian engineer Phil Irving had designed the engine as a single-cylinder, high-camshaft, OHV, air-cooled unit with an alloy head, and an alloy barrel fitted with a cast cylinder liner. Irving developed a backbone frame that used the engine as a stressed member, and unusually for the time – the Comet had both front and rear suspension.
The 1937 Comet you see here has been in single family ownership since 1958, it underwent a 30 year restoration (albeit at a somewhat leisurely pace) that included a full engine and gearbox rebuild. It was completed in the 1990s and last ridden in 2005 – it’s now presented in remarkably clean and complete condition, with an estimated hammer price of between £25,000 and £30,000 – an affordable price for anything with the word Vincent running along the side of the tank.
If you’d like to read more about this bike or register to bid you can click here to visit Bonhams.
Images courtesy of Bonhams