Sep 13, 2009

2009 Vincent Rally


This weekend Minnesota (Cannon Falls) hosted the 2009 Vincent owners' rally. Because I still owe Denny Delzer some points for his generosity when I stumbled upon him in Bismark, ND and because I was interested in the sort of folks who would put up with all of the quirks and weirdness of a 60 year old (or older) Brit bike, I rode down to Cannon Falls (the longest, dumbest way possible) on Saturday. I shot about 200 pictures. 100 of them are in this blog entry.
Being the camera rookie I am, it took me most of the day to figure out how to get rid of the date marking feature in my new camera. Sorry about that. If you click on any of the photos in the slideshow or the "view all images" button, you'll get to my Photobucket page where the originals are stored. You can download and edit my pictures of Vincents and Vincent characters at your leisure.

5 comments:

  1. About 1971 I was at Mosport in Ontario, and a sporting older couple arrived on their Vincent

    I didn't become aware of Vincents until I was in college, about 1960 or so. Then they seemed powerful and wonderful. But by about 1976, when a friend came by on one for lunch one day, it seemed spindly and chuffy - definitely veteran stuff.

    In 1974 the Yamaha TZ750A seemed frighteningly fast and modern. Ten years later it seemed almost archaic, with its lumpy engine back in the 1950 MV position, against the rear tire, and with a frame buzzed-up out of old broom handles. 36-mm fork tubes!

    On and on it goes.

    KC

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  2. Around 1964 I met Coburn Benson, then a strange guy who'd been in the army and had somehow taken up the Vincent as paramount. If there was anything wrong with any Vincent part, he had a complicated and scholarly explanation - like "Oh yes, Cedric Ashton-Jones substituted on the planishing broach on alternate Tuesdays, and his work was not always excellent". Coburn seemed old - at least 55 - when he was at most in his later 20s. But he had a fabulous amount of Vincent stuff, including parts to build several prewar TT replica 500s with bronze heads. He could take people's not-so-hot Vincents and make excellent runners of them. He had a great droopy mustache, longer on one side, in which remnants of his invariable breakfast of porridge could be seen.

    Then came a day, maybe ten years ago, when he traded it all in on Stanley steamer stuff. It may have coincided with his sale of his family's land in Concord, MA (big $$) and his moving to Maine. But once again he dove in and made himself a font of knowledge and parts.

    I see several of the photos you sent depict bikes with real brakes on the front.

    KC

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  3. Howdy, I too attended this event. Met Carl and thought that it was great that a 62 year old guy would ride a bike almost as old as himself, up from the KY border. And then I met Merlin and Sue who road theirs up from MO. We celebrated Merlin's 72nd birthday at the event. And then I met the even older Dan Smith and his wife who road that beautiful green 1930's type from Bismarck, ND. (But they cheated and trailered it down from Vancouver!) And then I met Marty Dickerson. Holy cow. A new record this year and an intent to better it in 2010. What an inspiration this whole event is for all of us geezer types. Thank you for being there.

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  4. There were a lot of inspirational types at the Vincent Rally. Dan Smith was, for me, the most inspirational. His homebuilt HRD was a work of creative and technical art.

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  5. The real core of a Vincents personality and uniqueness is tied to the motors shape and form , not so much the chassis details , tank or decals .
    Its the strongly organic " from life " curves PEI drew upon in shaping every casting and cover that really sets it apart from ALL other motors . John Brittans twin came closest to that source , but none other I know of .
    Many motors are stirring and thrilling to look at of course but there is a living aspect cast into the Vincent which is unequalled in any other . Note that I have told the bit that Phil relayed to me one evening -- that the ESA bulge on the twin " was a womans breast " when cupped in ones left hand .
    Since Matts book came out and we have shown the Vincati to literally thousands -- it was striking how many gazers ignored the Ducati chassis , instead seeing only the motor ! And remarked often that it was a model from Vincent they had never seen ! I believe that this raw reaction proves my point re the power of Irvings art seen in its inate shape .
    Simularly the basic shape of a Harley is indisputable - even in its clones . But a Vincent it aint.

    Cheers! S.M. Biberman

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