The second example ever built, and with a full ownership history, the Vincent Black Lightning was built in the UK for Swiss racer Hans Stärkle in 1949.
At the time of production, this was the fastest machine on two wheels, breaking land speed records and also clocking speeds higher than a Jaguar XK120. If there’s one vintage bike guaranteed to rev everyone’s engine and have them reaching for their wallets, its this one.
However, getting hold of one is not as easy as you’d hope. Only about 30 were ever made and the last one that appeared at auction became the most expensive bike ever sold, when it hammered at Bonhams for close to £1 million.
This is likely to be your last chance to get your hands on these legendary handlebars for a while – as this example goes to auction with Bonhams on October 6th at the Barber Vintage Festival.
The evocative design and revolutionary engineering of this motorbike has earned it the nickname of “Ferrari GTO of two wheels” but we can’t see why the Ferrari GTO shouldn’t be called the “Vincent Black Lightning of four wheels”.
An incredibly significant motorbike, built in the UK and one of the most important in motor racing history – what more could you ask of from a vintage bike?
Vincent Black Lightning
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