Sold at Bonhams auction in Las Vegas for $929,000, a 1951 Vincent 998cc Black Lightning (number 7305), previously owned by champion racer Jack Ehret, became one of the most expensive motorcycles ever sold at an auction last January 2018.
It surpassed the sale of a century-old ex-Steve McQueen Cyclone Board Track racer, which fetched $775,000 in 2015 at Mecum Auctions in Las Vegas.
The new World Record holder, a Vincent Black Lightning model, was built by Stevenage, England factory between 1948 and 1952. There were only about 31 models in existence. What’s so special about this piece that it hammered nearly $1m at auction?
Good question. Besides its rarity, the biggest deal about this classic bike was its racing history. Once owned by Jack Ehret, the Vincent Black Lightning broke the Australian land speed record at 141.5 mph or around 228 kph in 1953.
It was brought to Australia from the UK by the special order of famous Aussie road racer, Tony McAlpine. Since then it had become one of the world’s most wanted machines. But now, 67 years later in its mostly unrestored condition, it’s hard to believe that someone was still willing to pay a fortune to own this vehicle.
Well, you haven’t heard of the “Easy Rider” bike that sold for $1.35 million. Maybe these items were very important to their avid collectors. After all, you can’t really put a price tag on a piece of history that’s worth passing down to future generations.
How these vintage bikes could command millions of dollars? The top One Percent wouldn’t ask this question but if it is any consolation, the world wonders with you.