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This photo dates from the late 1930s. The details of when and where it was taken are unknown, but it originated with Peter Collins, who was a friend of Phil Vincent and worked at the firm as a member of the design team. The picture was given to Paul Hopwood during the 1970s, when Paul was 12 years old and lived next door to Peter and his wife. One one winter night during that period Peter invited him in, and showed him a collection of documents rolled up in cardboard tubes. They were blueprints of the Vincent motorcycles and components that Peter had helped design, taken with permission when the factory shut down. Sadly these documents were lost after Peter's death around 1980.

In the picture, Phil Vincent is shown astride a Series A Vincent Rapide. The works used this particular machine as a mobile test-bed/hack in the pre-war days and it was also road-tested by 'Motorcycling' in 1938. Its registration 'DUR142' is no longer active, and the bike's fate is unknown.

As to the other gentleman, here are some comments from a former employee at the Vincent works:

"I think it was Ken Mainwaring and he was around in a number of pictures. In particular the Montlhery event was his baby. It was to back up the slogan 'World's Fastest Standard Motorcycle' that the event happened. I think the costs came out of his advertising budget. "

"It is PCV for sure and I am also pretty sure that it is Mainwaring. Both of them are a lot younger than when I knew them and I suggest it was taken just before the war. I have a recollection of seeing petrol pumps like that somewhere local. It may have been in the works yard where we did have a tank by the entrance opposite the gatekeepers cabin."

Thanks to Paul Hopwood, Sid Biberman, Peter Barker & David Jones for photo and research

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