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.
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.
“…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.
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 ©