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?