1951 Vincent 998cc Series C Black Shadow For Sale by Auction
Matching frame and engine numbers Present ownership since 1993 Restored in the 1990s Ever since the Series A's arrival in 1937, the Vincent v-twin has been synonymous with design innovation, engineering excellence, and superlative high performance. From Rollie Free's capture of the 'world's fastest production motorcycle' record in 1948 on a tuned Series B Black Shadow to the final fully enclosed Black Knight and Black Prince, Philip Vincent's stress on appearance and performance is legendary. His machines bristled with innovative features, offering adjustment of brake pedal, footrests, seat height and gear-change lever. The finish was to a very high standard commensurate with the cost of the machine, which was virtually double that of any of its contemporaries. But above all else it was the v-twin's stupendous performance that captivated motorcyclists, whether they could afford one or not. The appeal of the Vincent, and the Black Shadow in particular, lay in its ability to out-perform just about every other vehicle on the road, and in the early post-war years there was nothing to compare with it. Not until the advent of Jaguar's XK120 was there a production sports car that could live with the thundering v-twins from Stevenage. With a top speed approaching 120mph, and bettering it in the Black Shadow's case, the Vincent v-twin was quite simply the fastest road vehicle of its day.
The Black Shadow was indeed a legend in its own lifetime, and in the 60-plus years since production ceased, the esteem in which this iconic motorcycle is held has only increased, fuelling the demand among discerning collectors for fine examples of the marque, such as that offered here.
This Black Shadow has belonged to the late owner since January 1993. Restored by him over the next few years, the Vincent comes with a most extensive history file documenting the restoration in full (perusal recommended). Although old age prevented the owner from riding the Vincent in his later years (it was last taxed for the road in March 2010), the engine has been started up occasionally. Careful re-commissioning and the customary safety checks are advised before further use. As well as the aforementioned restoration records, the history file contains copies of factory records; a quantity of old MoTs; an old-style V5C document; and a VOC dating certificate confirming matching frame and engine numbers.
This motorcycle is to be auctioned at our Live and Online Winter Sale, Hanger 113, Bicester Heritage, OX26 5HA.
Friday 11 December
Spares & Memorabilia (Lot 1 - 112) 9am
The National Motorcycle Museum Reserve Collection (Lots 201 – 252) 11am
Saturday 12 December
Motorcycles (Day 2) (Lots 501 – 708) 10am
In light of the current government guidelines and relaxed measures we are delighted to welcome viewing, strictly by appointment. All the lots will be on view at Bicester Heritage in our traditional Hangar 113. We will ensure social distancing measures are in place, with gloves and sanitiser available for clients wishing to view motorcycle history files.
Please contact Bonhams Motorcycles by clicking 'Message the seller' with your preferred date, time and vehicle registration number to book an appointment.
Wednesday 9 December 9am to 5pm
Thursday 10 December 9am to 5pm
Friday 11 December 9am to 5pm (Lots 501 – 708 only)
LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION
Please note that whilst public viewing is available by appointment, the auction itself will be conducted from a remote saleroom, behind closed doors without public access, in accordance with the current government guidelines. All bidding will be conducted via Online, Telephone and Absentee Bidding. Please contact our Bids Department to register using the 'Message the seller' button.
COLLECTION OF PURCHASED LOTS
Motorcycle lots must be cleared from the sale venue by 2pm Sunday 13 December 2020. Limited collection is available until 2pm Monday 14 December, by appointment only. If collecting Monday, please access Bicester Heritage via the 'Main Gate', Buckingham Road, OX26 5HA. Please email us using the 'Message the seller' button with your collection or transport instructions as soon as possible following your successful bid. Failure to instruct Bonhams by the given time will result in your vehicle being uplifted to store at your expense, as detailed in the Conditions of Sale. Buyers should satisfy themselves that they have collected all relevant log books, documents and keys relating to their Lot(s) at time of collection.
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