Patrick Godet’s unexpected death in November last year—just one month after his 68th birthday—affected many Vincent enthusiasts who either knew him personally or had great respect for his work. His bikes were the ultimate evolution of the original Vincents built in Stevenage, and as such they were accepted by the Vincent community as 100 percent Vincent. Still, his Egli-Vincents were also 100 percent café racer, so they were often highlighted in both classics and café racers magazines.

70 Vincents are gathering for two laps in tribute to Patrick Godet. 17 years ago, Patrick was there at the same place, leading the Vincent parade at the 2002 Coupes de Motos Légende. (Photo © Sandra Gillard)

The idea to pay tribute to Patrick came from Bertrand Bussillet—Editor-in-Chief of Café Racer, and the forthcoming edition of their Café Racer Festival at Montlhéry was the perfect place for that. I was unfortunately not able to attend to this event due to a professional commitment, so I asked to a close friend of Patrick— Sandra Gillard—to provide me her feeling of that day.

You can see these two café racers often together across Europe. Left is Serge Vollard—a.k.a. Raspoutine—and right is Stéphane Membré. Both bikes have already exceeded 125,000 miles together. (Photo © Sandra Gillard)

“…Seven months after Patrick passed away, it was under the sun of the 7th edition of the Café Racer Festival at Montlhéry that we had this emotional thought for him with a broad smile. Bertrand Bussillet—the guru of the Café Racer Festival—Guy Dano and Godet Motorcycles’ team had imagined and realized an incredible gathering of Vincent motorcycles.

Saturday, June 22, 2019, 14:00, all these timeless ladies were there on the starting grid. More than 70 machines in a guard of honor for a tribute to one of the most extraordinary Vincent wizards, Patrick Godet. The all family was there, roaring together at the unison, from a 1938 twin Rapide Series A to the latest 1330 Egli Vincent Godets along with Black Shadows, Black Princes and a rare Grey Flash and Black Lightning.

Fritz W. Egli was riding his sidecar, leading the first lap. Fritz and Patrick had developed a true friendship and a mutual respect. Behind him is Fritz Jr, on his personal Vincent race bike. (Photo © Sandra Gillard)

If Patrick did not like to be put in the limelight, he did love to talk about his passion and he would certainly have shed a tear to see his faithful friend, Fritz W. Egli, at the dawn of his 82 years, riding his Vincent side-car and be first to open the laps of honor on this legendary Autodrome of Linas-Montlhéry. He would also have had—without showing it—a very moved and proud look, for “his guys” of the workshop who now continue the business without him.”

I was not there, but Sandra’s words immediately reminded me another event on the same Autodrome of Linas-Montlhéry where Patrick was leading the Vincent parade on his own Café Racer for the Coupes de Moto Légendes: it was 17 years ago, in May 2002.

           Sandra Gillard, interviewed by Philippe Guyony ©

Three generations of Vincents with a common theme of speed: A 1948 Black Shadow Series B owned and ridden by Dominique Malcor (left), the replica of Fritz Peier’s 1969 champion bike (center) owned by Jean-Louis Petit and the latest evolution of the Vincent twin in a modern frame designed by Terry Prince and built by Fritz Egli Jr. who here rides it here. (Photo © Sandra Gillard)
The famous Autodrome of Linas-Montlhéry where Vincent collected eight endurance records in May 1952. At that time, the works Black Shadow was clocking 100mph on the upper part of the track. (Photo © Sandra Gillard)
Racing Orange or Classic Black, the 1330 Café Racer will remain the flagship of Godet Motorcycles’ production. (Photo © Sandra Gillard)
The Egli-Vincent Racer is one of the developments which was the closest to Patrick’s heart. While the frame is ‘only’ slightly modified to accept the Albion gearbox, the engine is an entire development of Godet Motorcycles using ultra-short courses similarly to the latest Manx. (Photo © Mark Stanley)
Godet Motorcycles had brought several machines representatives of the workshop activity, including this Black Shadow that will undergo restoration “…but we will keep the original patina,” says François Guerin who is now in charge of Godet Motorcycles. (Photo © Sandra Gillard)
While Godet Motorcycles continues its activity, this 1330 Black Lightning Replica will remain the last recreation of Patrick Godet. (Photo © Sandra Gillard)
British were numerous for this event. Harvey Bowden came with its 1000 Rapide Series A. He recently completed road trips in USA (Route 66), Australia and New Zealand with his brother Marcus…both on 1000 Rapide Series A! (Photo © Sandra Gillard)
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