After I took part in the 11th Annual Diomage Sidecar Rally Toon van Houtert stopped by LBS Sidecars the following week for a coffee and a chat, I was interested in how the Diomage Sidecar Run got started with the MC de Kleppenjagers 11 years ago.
So in the course of conversation he asked me about the Indian decals on my panniers, and as my Indian story was unfolding he mentioned that a friend of his, Mart, has a couple of old Indians, and 'he has a Vincent too'.
Oohh, a Vinnie, when can I go over there and.......
The next morning we're over at Mart's having coffee (coffee is a ritual here, nearly every business has it's own little coffee bar) and we make our way back into his small narrow railroad workshop and garage that house his 3 bikes, a 1921 Indian Scout, a 1930 Indian Scout, and back in the corner, tucked behind Mart's Indian Scout, there she was......
...the Cees Fick Vincent.
I never heard of Cees (pronounced Kees, the C in Dutch is pronounced like a K) Fick before now, so I wasn't aware about the history of the bikes he built, but from my research and what little information is out there he apparently was quite a decent builder.
However, most of the article focuses of the technical specs of how he built the Vincents and what he did to lighten up parts etc., not much about Cees himself, so this article is what I was able to piece together from the translation and from some other research.
Cees was from a village called Mill in the Netherlands and had a sock manufacturing business. Motorcycles were his hobby.
How he ended up getting at auction a box of parts and 3 Vincent engines from the estate of the recently deceased Jan Hanlo is a story unto itself, so I will give the highlights, if you can call them that.
Jan Hanlo (1912-1969) was a dutch poet who, apart from being a schizophrenic, an artist, a poet and a homosexual pedophile was also an avid motorcyclist and a big Vincent fan, owning 3 or 4 of them, a Black Lightning and a Black Rapide being one of them, the Rapide was the one he died on in a motorcycle accident in 1969.
He left Valkenburg and lived in Amsterdam where he studied psychology, but could not finish as he was transported to Germany and forced to work for the Germans during the war.
After Berlin, he started working as an English teacher at a secretary school and his more than casual interest in young boys, coupled with his artistic, social and sexual problems ended up with him being admitted to a psychiatric institute.
Pedophilia was not well known among social workers, so he was all to easily classified as a homosexual. Although he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, he was treated as a sexual offender and was probably castrated in a psychiatric institution.
In the 50's he moved back to Valkenburg to care for his beloved ailing mother after a few stints in some other institutions.
In 1962 Hanlo is imprisoned for a month due to his contacts with a 15-year-old-boy. In 1968 he got a restraining order against him due to a complaint filed against him by the parents of a paper delivery boy. These, and other humiliating experiences alienated him from the Netherlands and in the spring of 1969 found him on a trip to Morocco.
In Marrakech he fell in love, or lust, with a 13 year old boy, took him back with him to the Netherlands and tried to adopt him.
The Dutch authorities didn't accept the adoption and sent Mohamed back to his native country.
A week later Hanlo was killed in a motorcycle accident when he hit a tractor that suddenly changed direction in front of him.
When news of his death spread throughout the Vincent Owners community there was quite a bit of interest in the Vincent's that he owned, one now wrecked from the accident that killed him.
There was an auction, and from what I can gather, Cees secured the winning write in bid by 1 Dutch Gilder (the Euro wasn't in existence in the 70's) coming in at 5,501 Gilders.
So Cees got himself 3 motors and 1 box of parts from which he made 4 running Vincents.
Nearly everything except the frame and motors Cees Fick built himself, and even the engines were thoroughly gone over by Cees, lightning and rebuilding them stronger.
The whole bike, with oil, but without gas weighed in at 148 kilos, or 326 lbs.
For comparison, a Vincent Black Lightning, the non street legal factory race Vincent with magnesium alloy race components, solo seat and aluminum fenders weighed in at 380lbs, a full 54lbs heavier, so Cees shaved off another 54lbs off the curb weight.
Homemade aluminum brake calipers on homemade aluminum caliper struts in front of Italian Ceriani front forks.