Champion Jack Surtees's teenage motorbike could race to $66,000

Collectors of vintage motors seem to be opting for two wheels instead of four in 2011's opening weeks. The latest in a line of high-profile motorcycle sales is the appearance of a 1948 Vincent 500 Grey Flash with sidecar at Artcurial's Rétromobile sale on February 4.

World Champion Jack Surtees
(born 1934)

The bike is certainly rare. It is just one of five or six prepared by Jack Surtees, future 500cc motorcycle World Champion in 1956 while he worked at the Vincent factory, aged just 16.

Confirming the bike's provenance is a stamp bearing Surtees's name underneath the engine.

Surtees later signed the bike with a marker pen and authenticated it. As a youth, he raced Grey Flash motorcycles while working at the Vincent factory. This model is equipped with an Amal GP 36 carburettor and a competition magnesium Albion gearbox.

The sidecar is a recent addition to enter a classic sidecar race but, according to Artcurial, it can be removed quickly and the original solo seat put back in place.

The 1948 Vincent 500 Grey Flash with added sidecar

According to the seller, the Grey Flash "runs very well and has always been meticulously maintained through the years."

Aside from the half a dozen worked on by Jack Surtees, only 31 machines of this type ever came out, making it a genuine treasure for any serious collector.

It will appear in Artcurial's Briest-Poulain-F.Tajan sale with a €43,000-50,000 ($65,969) estimate.


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