Grey Flash 2751

The history and restoration of a Vincent HRD Grey Flash

Whilst we are waiting for the exhaust pipe to be made I thought I’d post a bit about the seat we will be using.

Early Vincent HRD racers came fitted with a trimmed version of the standard road-going seat. I believe these were a Feridax product that featured a Dunlopillo foam with “cells” cast into it to provide adequate cushioning. Later on a special racing seat was designed; a lean and purposeful item that enabled the rider to assume a lower racing crouch with ease. When I acquired 2751 it came with an NOS one of the these racing seats.

A rare and wondrous thing…
NOS from the ’50s…

I was initially elated though this turned to disappointment when I learned that 2751 would never have been fitted with such a seat. So I offered it to a friend who had a Black Lightning and he bought it from me for US$7,000 – this was a big help in recouping a bit of the initial purchase price of the bike (some US$90k).

Here are some period shots of the seat originally fitted to 2751:

Hardly svelte…
Comfy, no doubt…
Not very in-keeping with the lean and stripped nature of the Grey Flash but no doubt eminently practical.

The seat that came fitted to 2751 and was used in anger, by Peter Johnson when racing the bike, is actually not that far out shape-wise.

Compare this to the above period shots.
This is how it looked when I acquired 2751.

I had an original seat and cover complete with Feridax badge on stand-by to cut down. However, early Feridax seats did not feature a badge to the rear. Later a silkscreen printed logo was featured to be later replaced with the brass badge most Vincent owners are familiar with. So 2751’s original seat would not have had a badge.

As seen here…

Rather than try to recreate an exact copy of the original type we have decided to use the seat that the bike came with. It is not so far from the profile of the original and a little thinner – it actually looks better in our opinion. A newly made replica would be out-of-keeping so we will go with this. In addition, it has been actually used on the bike when raced and it is very well made.

The work of Peter Johnson?

We feel that this is an acceptable compromise. 😊

NB: Peter has been in touch with me and informed me that the seat was acquired from Ted Davis.

8 thoughts on “The Seat

  1. Somer says:

    Years ago a friend had a seat that came off of a 1950 Lightning. It had the Feridax badge but an earlier style. It was in really good shape. I also had a seat that that was flat like the one you sold. It was NOS. It had the later style of Feridax badge on it. Early bages were three dimensional, later 2 dimensional.


    1. humphsmith says:

      Interesting. So the badges became a feature from around then…


  2. Somer says:

    Ted Davis sold me a seat years ago. It was like some of his” Flashes”; a tribute…….


    1. Somer says:

      You can see where I put on the NOS seat. It had a flat Feridax badge.


      1. humphsmith says:

        The Ehret BL was also fitted with a similar NOS badged racing seat acquired from HH.


    2. humphsmith says:

      Yeah, Ted was up to all kinds of monkey business…


  3. Scott dell says:

    I’m looking at the original seat you show and notice it is exactley what I came up with for my comet racer, funny have never seen that seat before and my intuition lead me right there. Thanks for posting always learn something.


    1. humphsmith says:

      Thanks for checking in Scott! And for your positive comment.πŸ™πŸ»


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