Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle to sell in Las Vegas

The Vincent Black Shadow is one of the most iconic motorcycles of the 1950s.

Enthusiasts will be delighted to learn Mecum Auctions is offering one rare matching numbers 1951 Series C specimen in its Las Vegas auction on January 23-27.

Vincent Black Shadow

The Vincent Black Shadow was designed and built in Stevenage, UK

The Black Shadow was the fastest motorbike of the early 1950s.

It held a legendary status among lovers of speed, among them gonzo writer Hunter S Thompson – who wrote: “If you rode the Black Shadow at top speed for any length of time, you would almost certainly die.

“That is why there are not many life members of the Vincent Black Shadow Society.”

This bike has been carefully maintained over the years and has recently undergone an engine refit by renowned Vincent expert Rip Tragle.

Other highlights of the sale include a 1941 Harley-Davidson WL 45 service bike.

1941 Harley Davidson

The Harley-Davidson WL 45 was key to delivering messages during the war

In excess of 90,000 of these bikes were built during the second world war.

It’s interesting to note that the vast surplus of military motorbikes around when the war ended helped fuel the biker culture of the 1950s and 1960s.

The present lot is one of a small number shipped to South Africa. It was later brought back to the US.

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