BSA Rocket Gold Star prototype comes with a story

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Chris Vincent rides the BSA prototype | H&H Classics photos

As the story goes, motorcycle sidecar racer Chris Vincent was on his way to Liverpool, England, to catch the ferry to the Isle of Man when he was stopped for speeding.

The police officer who stopped him asked why the motorcycle rider was in such a hurry. 

Vincent said he was hurrying to catch the ferry so he could race. 

Turned out that the policeman not only was a Chris Vincent fan, but was headed to the island to watch him race.

“Well, you’d better let me go then or I will miss the ferry and my race,” Vincent said.

The officer agreed, let Vincent go, and presumably was among the spectators on the island and watched him win his race.

Restored machine heading to auction

The bike Vincent was riding that day was a BSA Rocket Gold Star factory prototype built in January 1962 and with license 985 FOC that will be offered for bidding July 30 at H&H Classics’ auction at Britain’s National Motorcycle Museum.

According to H&H Classics, BSA factory records show that the bike was first used for road-test evaluation by British motorcycle reporters, and that soon after such testing the frame was replaced and the bike became Vincent’s personal ride.

“This bike really is unique, literally a one-off prototype,” said Mark Bryan of the H&H Classics team. “A bike with this sort of provenance really should be in a museum. It is a great piece of history and its link to Chris Vincent makes it even more special.”

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The consignor purchased the bike, which hadn’t been on the road since 1972, as a “basket case” in 2017, but all the parts were there and it was restored. Original parts were used when possible and those that could not be re-used are included in the sale, the auction house said.

Also included in the sale will be the original RF60 logbook, all factory records and other paperwork.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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