Vincent Series C White Shadow tops Bonhams at $224,500

One of only 15 Vincent Series C White Shadow motorbikes has sold as the top lot in Bonhams' annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction, held on January 8.

Vincent White Shadow
The Vincent White Shadow was released with bare metal engine cases, but proved unpopular in the US

The rare motorcycle made an impressive $224,250, testament to the enduring popularity of Vincent, as well as the company's place in motorcycle history.

The Vincent company rose to fame after Rollie Free set a US motorcycle speed at 150 mph in 1948 on a Black Lightning, with the 1948 Black Shadow released as the world's fastest production motorcycle soon after, capable of top speeds of 125 mph.

The "Black" models - Prince, Shadow and Lightning - are so-called due to their all black enamel engine cases.

However, the White Shadow was released in the US as a variant, matching the specifications of the Black Shadow with bare metal cases used instead. Just 15 examples were sold before the option was dropped in 1952.

The example at auction is well documented, and had a gold painted frame when it was purchased by Vincent enthusiast Frank Alexander in 1955. It has since been restored to its original state.

Also selling in the auction was a 1955 Vincent Black Prince, which sold for $79,350, and a 1954 Vincent Black Shadow at $112,700.

Further highlights included a stunning 1936 Brough Superior SS80 - one of the most valuable models in the world - with a Watsonian Sport sidecar. The sidecar was found in a 20 x 20 ft cubical in Arlington, Texas, along with a tangle of motorcycle parts that has since yielded many important restorations.

Having since won multiple Best of Show awards, the bike and sidecar sold for $115,500.

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