Vincent Black Shadow tops the bill at Bonhams auction

Date 01.5.2013

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  • Motorcycle Trader


The recent Bonhams auction at the International Classic MotorCycle Show in the UK was held on 28 April, with a Vincent Black Shadow the top-seller at £113,500 (AU$169,517).

The fully-restored, ex-works machine formed part of the factory’s bid to set a new 24-hour speed record in France in 1952, overcoming mechanical difficulties to return home with eight new records, including six hours at over 100mph.

Among other auction highlights was a 1931 Brough Superior SS80 motorcycle won in a fund-raising raffle more than 40 years ago. The SS80 started as a sidecar outfit with Ipswich Police, then converted to solo trim and later offered as first prize in a fund-raising raffle at the Brough Superior Club. Tickets were sold for five pence each, or 50 pence for a book of 10. Exceeding the ticket price by more than a million times, the bike sold for £57,500 (AU$85,879). Also, a 1914 Indian Model F once owned by legendary Hollywood actor Steve McQueen, which sold to a European telephone bidder for £32,200 (AU$48,092).

An eclectic selection of 30 machines owned by the late Clifford Jones proved popular with bidders, selling for a total of more than £175,000 (AU$261,370). The collection featured a number of 1950s cafe racers, as well as much modern-day racing and superbike machinery.

Meanwhile in the automobilia section, two Akai Yamaha race helmets worn by the legendary Barry Sheene in the 1980s fetched a combined total of £10,000 (AU$14,935).

Ben Walker, Head of the Bonhams Motorcycle Department, said, “Once again our auction at the ‘International’ Classic proved to be exactly that, with interest from bidders from across the globe.

“Record-breaking machines like the 1952 Vincent Black Shadow and the movie star charisma of Steve McQueen were among the draws for the crowd, and there was fierce competition for the Ducatis in the collection of the late Clifford Jones.”

· Not only is the Black Shadow considered one of the most desirable motorcycles in the world, our own Ian Falloon rates the 1000cc V-twin high in his top 5 Brits list, read more here:

Vincent 1000cc V-twin: Top Brits no.2