In 1948 Phil Vincent, founder and boss of Vincent HRD, is visiting the United States. He meets Ralph Rogers, President of Indian Motorcycle. Their bikes are very different. The English brand is introducing the Rapide Series C, powerful enough to compete with BMW. Indian's strategy is oriented towards small engines.
The two bosses decide to propose together two product lines, each of them starting with a prototype. Two Indian Chief are shipped to the Vincent factory at Stevenage.
The first hybrid is the Vindian, with a Vincent Rapide engine equipping an Indian Chief. The result is not satisfactory and the prototype is dismantled.
The second project, in 1949, seems more promising. The Indian-Vincent is a Rapide Series C whose most visible components such as the handlebars are extracted from the Indian Chief. US customers shall certainly appreciate this powerful English motorcycle with an American appearance.
All of this is expensive. Before the end of the year, Rogers resigns and Vincent HRD is placed under receivership. The Indian-Vincent project is abandoned. Indian went bankrupt in 1953 and Vincent HRD ceased operations in 1955 due to heavy losses.
The designer of Vincent, Phil Irving, had been the engineer in charge of the two joint projects. The Indian-Vincent prototype was presented to him at the end of 1949 when he returned to his native Australia. In 2001 an Australian collector is stunned by his latest acquisition, an incomplete Vincent accompanied by Indian pieces of equipment. He discovers the history of this unique motorcycle and reconstructs it in its prototype configuration.
The Indian-Vincent is estimated $ 250K, for sale by Bonhams in Las Vegas on January 26, lot 187.