Vincent Black Shadow motorbike leads Bonhams' auction

The lauded, Montlhery speed record attempt Vincent Black Shadow motorbike led Bonhams' April 28 sale of important collectors' motorcycles, bringing £113,500 ($176,309) in Staffordshire, UK.

Philip Vincent of Britain's Vincent Motorcycles understood that performance grabbed headlines and excited sales. Although season-long racing was prohibitively costly, one off speed record attempts were an affordable option.

Vincent Black Shadow motorbike auction
The hand-produced Vincent motorcycle is one of only a small number of extant examples

The remarkable motorcycle was ridden during 1952's speed trials on the Montlhery track in France.

A team of specially prepared Black Shadows and Black Lightnings bagged eight records, including the six hours at 100.6mph. Although extremely high temperatures put a halt to proceedings, Philip Vincent returned home satisfied, with a great deal of decent publicity material.

Vincent's factory prepared, competition motorcycles were made in very limited numbers and subsequently seldom come to market.

Sunday's auction represented a possible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a competition Black Shadow.

Vincent was in operation between 1928 and 1955.

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