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Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 6,938
Likes: 278
Forum Historian
Hello ODK history lovers.

It’s amazing how myths perpetuate; particularly the salutary ones –
the ones folks want to believe. Even more so when it involves a
famous manufacturer.

This is the story of the Farmfitters Ltd Rapier rotary mower introduced
in the mid-1950s. It was originally powered by a Vincent two-stroke engine.

For whatever reason, the mower has been frequently misrepresented
as a ‘Vincent mower’ – one made by the famous British motor-cycle maker.

I was reminded of this when I recently watched a video on the famous British
Vincent Company and their most famous Black Shadow motorcycle.
There was a reference in it to a Vincent rotary mower ...

The video is from a prestigious museum – the North American Audrain.
The video may be found HERE.

[Linked Image]

TO BE CONTINUED ...

Membership information
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 6,938
Likes: 278
Forum Historian
PART TWO - FARMFITTERS
This is not the first time I have written about Farmfitters Ltd
of Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire. I wrote about their
Versatiller in a 2016 History Record [see Related Reading].

Their Rapier is something else …

[Linked Image]

Their Rapier rotary is unusual and interesting.
Comprised of an alloy skirted left and right base connected
by front and rear wheel carriers.

Note the advanced single-point height adjuster and the
large diameter wheels. The fuel tank was concealed within the
handle bar!

[Linked Image]

It appears that the Rapier was introduced with the Vincent
2-stroke engine, but later variants had other engines.

Of special interest is the Vincent engine. It’s built up-side down
[like Victa Powertorques]. The shrouded flywheel sits underneath
the crankcase and forced air flows upward from underneath the cylinder.

The recoil starter sits below the flywheel in a mesh enclosed
(for cooling air intake) mounting base.

My best guess is that the Rapier was made in close collaboration
with Vincent. The chassis had to accommodate a radical engine design.

And yes, I understand the name Rapier is cleverly named to
sound similar to Vincent’s Rapide model, but that must have been
to Farmfitters’ advantage in any joint arrangement.

The gallery below has images of the Rapier taken from the
RideApart.com website, a part of the Motorsport Network.

Attached Images
farmfitters_rapier_1.jpg (141.31 KB, 30 downloads)
farmfitters_rapier_2.jpg (129.88 KB, 30 downloads)
farmfitters_rapier_3.jpg (137.95 KB, 30 downloads)
farmfitters_rapier_4.jpg (144.35 KB, 30 downloads)
farmfitters_rapier_5.jpg (171.41 KB, 30 downloads)
farmfitters_rapier_6.jpg (123.6 KB, 30 downloads)
farmfitters_rapier_7.jpg (100.32 KB, 30 downloads)
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 6,938
Likes: 278
Forum Historian


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