Pre-war Vincent were available in three color schemes only and beside the standard Black, the optional Chrome & Black or Chrome & Brown tank were a popular choice. Post WWII, when the production of Vincent motorcycles resumed, the shortage of chrome led the factory to narrow this choice and similarly to the earlier Ford Model T, you could get any color you wanted as long as you chose the Black!

However, we should not complain too much, given that the legendary Black Shadow and Black Lightning would probably never be named such, at least as we know them today, in their black coat, if it had not been the case!

This Black color combined to their unique design, enables post-war Vincent to have an unapproachable charisma that cannot be mistaken at all with any other motorcycle. Similarly nothing looks like Vincent array, incredibly uniformed, a kind of rainbow, but a black rainbow of course!

Even early in the 50s, the other leading brands were proposing broader color choices, and eventually, Vincent introduced a first alternative choice: the China Red, a choice, which was certainly seen as completely eccentric at that time. Should Vincent had survived 1955, the marketing team would likely have required more choices especially for the export markets, although it took quite a while for Velocette to dare to break its black straightjacket.

As of today, a “non-black” Vincent remains a rarity, and most of the owners prefer to remain loyal to the stock color. However, some owners, certainly annoyed by this black uniformity, decided to go their own way as the following examples demonstrate. So on which side of the rainbow do you stand? The black side or the color side?

Philippe Guyony © 2013

Align 100 Vincent in a row and statistically this is what you can get: a touch of red in the middle of a long black stripe. (Stock colors)
Align 100 Vincent in a row and statistically this is what you can get: a touch of red in the middle of a long black stripe. (Stock colors)
Prewar Vincents were available in a limited number of color choices beside the black, as this Brown & Chrome 1937 Rapide 1000. (Stock color)
Prewar Vincents were available in a limited number of color choices beside the black, as this Brown & Chrome 1937 Rapide 1000. (Stock color)
In fact, this is more representative of what people are thinking of Vincent motorcycles: all black. (Stock color)
In fact, this is more representative of what people are thinking of Vincent motorcycles: all black. (Stock color)
The Grey was the first alternative color to the Black, but only on the 31 Grey Flash manufactured. (Stock color)
The Grey was the first alternative color to the Black, but only on the 31 Grey Flash manufactured. (Stock color)
Inspired by the Grey Flash, this grey suits this Comet like a glove. Definitely one of my preferred one. (Non-stock color)
Inspired by the Grey Flash, this grey suits this Comet like a glove. Definitely one of my preferred one. (Non-stock color)
The China Red was a kind of Royal Mail red. 106 bikes were painted with this color…. and this is it! (Stock color)
The China Red was a kind of Royal Mail red. 106 bikes were painted with this color…. and this is it! (Stock color)
One of the first to try something different was Marty Dickerson as early as 1951, with this magnificent metallic blue (Non-stock color)
One of the first to try something different was Marty Dickerson as early as 1951, with this magnificent metallic blue (Non-stock color)
The China Blue or Bugatti Blue, is as eccentric as the China Red. (Non-stock color)
The China Blue or Bugatti Blue, is as eccentric as the China Red. (Non-stock color)
This Azur Blue or Machine Blue is not my taste but lighten considerably the bike. (Non-stock color)
This Azur Blue or Machine Blue is not my taste but lighten considerably the bike. (Non-stock color)
A unique model as well. This 1300 Blue Shadow was assembled in 2001 by Steve Tonkin as an attempt to make the fastest Standard frame street Vincent. (Non-stock color)
A unique model as well. This 1300 Blue Shadow was assembled in 2001 by Steve Tonkin as an attempt to make the fastest Standard frame street Vincent. (Non-stock color)
A white Comet is not common either. BMW which in the 50s was also the "king of the black paint scheme" with the Series 2, proposed his R69/S in white but not Vincent. (Non-stock color)
A white Comet is not common either. BMW which in the 50s was also the “king of the black paint scheme” with the Series 2, proposed his R69/S in white but not Vincent. (Non-stock color)
This Modified Series D was painted Metallic Green in the 70s, which suits her pretty well. The bike was since reconverted to standard spec. (Non-stock color)
This Modified Series D was painted Metallic Green in the 70s, which suits her pretty well. The bike was since reconverted to standard spec. (Non-stock color)
You cannot miss Bernie Stovin's Comet with its flashy Electric Green. The bike is nicknamed Kermit!. (Non-stock color)
You cannot miss Bernie Stovin’s Comet with its flashy Electric Green. The bike is nicknamed Kermit!. (Non-stock color)
The two tone was somewhat popular pre-WWII, Burgandy & Black. (Non-stock color)
The two tone was somewhat popular pre-WWII, Burgandy & Black. (Non-stock color)
Or this Blue & Silver. (Non-stock color)
Or this Blue & Silver. (Non-stock color)
Something that I believe the factory missed and could have been a great and easy solution to implement: a colored tank. Keep all the bike stock but paint the tank in a different color. Simple and I think it works very well. (Non-stock color)
Something that I believe the factory missed and could have been a great and easy solution to implement: a colored tank.
Keep all the bike stock but paint the tank in a different color. Simple and I think it works very well. (Non-stock color)
Another example of the same tip combined with the bicolor scheme. (Non-stock color)
Another example of the same tip combined with the bicolor scheme. (Non-stock color)
You also can try the hot rod style or any other personalized schemed, possibilities are endless. (Non-stock color)
You also can try the hot rod style or any other personalized schemed, possibilities are endless. (Non-stock color)
The EGLI have a few other popular color scheme: BRG, Yellow, Orange and Polished Aluminum, rarely seen on a stock Vincent (I accept pictures if you have some)
The EGLI have a few other popular color scheme: BRG, Yellow, Orange and Polished Aluminum, rarely seen on a stock Vincent (I accept pictures if you have some)
If you are still hesitant about what color to choose for your Vincent, like some 750 H2 owners which cannot make their mind between the Gold and the Blue: just paint the tank Half/Half and you get the benefit to get 2 very different bikes in one!
If you are still hesitant about what color to choose for your Vincent, like some 750 H2 owners which cannot make their mind between the Gold and the Blue: just paint the tank Half/Half and you get the benefit to get 2 very different bikes in one!
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