Bonhams | 16-Oct-2016 | The Autumn Stafford Sale Important Collectors Motorcycles | Venue : Stafford, Staffordshire County Showground
Category : Classic Motorcycles
Lot No. : 212
Year : 1948
Engine Size : -
Registration No. : WFX 428
Chassis No. : # R3273B
Engine No. : # F10AB/1B/1283
No longer available - Sold or withdrawn from sale


Rear Frame no. R3273B
• Present ownership for 44 years by VOC member
• Matching numbers example
• Comprehensive history file
• One of 76 Series B Black Shadows
The Black Shadow Series B was announced in the early part of 1948, and was the first genuine two-miles-per-minute production bike, with a top speed of around 125 mph. The Series B Shadow was supplanted by the Series C version after only around one year and, with only 76 examples produced, is on a par with the series A Rapide in terms of rarity.
The owner of this Series B Shadow went to work in the Copperbelt in Zambia in 1969 and happened upon this machine, which he purchased in 1972. At the time it was not in use, although in due course he re-commissioned it and had it useable by 1974 (see 1974 Zambian tax disc on file). In 1976 he managed to ship the Shadow back to the UK in three crates, where it languished awaiting a full restoration, whilst the owner continued to work abroad. Eventually returning to live and work in the UK in 1979, he was able to commence the restoration proper in 1981, completing the work in 1983, when it was granted the registration WFX 428 by DVLA.
Since completion of the restoration, the vendor has used WFX 428 most years for club rallies, events, and regularity runs. The speedometer was refurbished in 1986 (invoice on file) and reset at 999 miles, the reading now being 35,557. The machine has been regularly maintained by the vendor, as evidenced by the various invoices in the history file, and in 2000, when the owner had detected some vibration, the crankcases and crankshaft were entrusted to respected Vincent engineer Bob Dunn for rectification work, details of which are on file. The machine is fitted with an anti-wet-sumping valve, an AO regulator, gel battery, and a multi-plate clutch conversion. Frame and engine numbers are all matching, although the first two digits of the rear frame number are not now decipherable. Factory records show that the bike was despatched new to Van Rooyen's, South Africa, on 9th December 1948. Van Rooyen's were based in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). A copy of the works order form is included with the documentation.
An extensive history file accompanies the Shadow, and includes the purchase receipt, the Zambian registration book, VOC Certificate of Authenticity, 26 expired MoT certificates, 26 expired road tax discs, current V5C, old V5C, old V5, and a myriad of receipts, invoices, correspondence and associated papers. A much-loved member of the family, it is currently taxed and only for sale due to the advancing years of the owner, who feels he cannot continue to give it the attention he has hereto.