Grey Flash 2751

The history and restoration of a Vincent HRD Grey Flash

This has been a giant faff!! Much more than was anticipated… The Grey Flash exhaust pipe is just a 2″ straight-through racing pipe, right? Well, there were several types employed and there is very little data out there. The period shots we had of 2751 were as good as any a place to start.

Several reference points here.
And here… The original pipe had been bashed; a crease is plainly visible adjacent to the timing chest.
This shot was most useful – the length could be calculated accurately by studying it. Not all is as it seems though – the bike is canted and it’s also likely that the photograph was taken from quite a low angle.
Cutting ‘n’ shutting…

Bert decided to make a template from the old pipe to make the pipe bender’s job easier. For a full week we back ‘n’ forth’ed his tweaks. Getting the bend right around the tacho drive was, to say the least, challenging… Too much taken out or added meant that the pipe was no longer parallel to the ground and looked hideous. It had to be right.

MPH 866 features a fascinating account by Jim Mathers of his rescuing of 3685. He was lucky enough to acquire an NOS racing pipe, from Harpers, which appeared identical to the one fitted to 2751. The tragedy is that that bike was badly damaged in the NMM fire though…

Notes by Bill Hoddinott and David Dunfey were devoured; their input and advice is always much appreciated.

Finally, the bike was ready to be transported to the pipe benders for an exhaust pipe to be fabricated by the traditional method.

Ben doing his thing…

Ben at Raysons set to work… Two weeks later Bert got a call to come and collect the bike.


Safely back in Bert’s workshop he set to work. The pipe needed trimming to length, brazing up at the port and the bracket sorting out.

This and the following photos speak for themselves…

So much work went into this… We may not have got it perfectly correct but it’s as close to “dammit” is to swearing! And this was a crucial undertaking as the pipe is very visible and would have looked horrible had it been angled incorrectly. Big thanks to Bert and Ben! Off to the platers with it now. It’ll come back as shiny as a new pin and will need tarnishing.

2 thoughts on “The Exhaust Pipe

  1. Scott Dell says:

    Feel your pain I went through probably 10 versions of pipes for my racer, wanted to keep the low 2″ sweep as original as possible but it was a struggle to not crash it on right handers. I’ve a collection of bashed and dented pipes to show for it. Like seeing the photos of original crease as it shows I was doing just as the factory had. Don’t do any racing with that pipe on or you’ll be starting all over! Thanks for your on going tale always fun to read. Scott


    1. humphsmith says:

      Thanks for you encouraging comments Scott. That’s why that crease is visible – we’d been wondering about it… Yeah, any road contact with any part of the bike on a curve would be disastrous…


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