Vincent Black Lightning motorbike sets new auction record

A Vincent Black Lightning set a new auction record for a motorbike in Las Vegas last night.

The lot realised $929,000, a big increase on the $825,000 paid for a 1915 Cyclone Board Track Racer belonging to Steve McQueen in 2015.

Ehret Black Lightning

This bike was the fastest thing on the Australian continent in 1953

This was the bike Jack Ehret used to set the 1953 Australian Land Speed Record.

He managed to get the thing up to a cold-sweat-inducing 141.5mph.

You might think that would be the craziest thing you could do on a mid-century motorbike, but you’d be wrong.

Rider Rollie Free set the 1948 American Land Speed Record (150.3mph) in nothing but swim shorts and a bathing cap.

Free's bike is believed to have sold for around $1.1m in 2010 in a private sale. 

Ben Walker, head of motorcycling at Bonhams, said: "After the 'Bathing Suit Bike' ridden by [Rollie] Free, the Ehret bike is likely the most important Black Lightning in existence”.

It’s also one of only 31 Black Lightnings made.

Meanwhile at Mecum's Vegas sale, the star was a 1955 Fratelli Ferrari 165 painted in a scorching red.

Ferrari bike Mecum

This Fratelli Ferrari dates to before the company was forced to chang its name

Fratelli Ferrari is totally unrelated to the celebrated Italian marque. It was founded by a pair of Milanese brothers who shared the name.

A lawsuit from the more famous Ferrari nearly brought the brothers down.

The company was only operational for a couple of years. As a result, few of these rare bikes were made.

This restored specimen realised $28,600.

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