CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Stevenage-made motorbike sells for world record price

PUBLISHED: 12:42 04 June 2018 | UPDATED: 12:47 04 June 2018

1951 Vincent Black Lightning (Bonhams)

1951 Vincent Black Lightning (Bonhams)


A Vincent made in Stevenage has become the world’s most expensive motorbike sold at auction

A Stevenage-made Vincent has become the world’s most expensive motorbike sold at auction.

The 1951 Vincent Black Lightning reached a record price of $929,000 (£657,652) at a Bonhams auction in Las Vegas.

The unique 1,000cc machine is considered one of the world’s first superbikes. It was one of only 30 similar models, based on the Black Shadow – then the world’s fastest production motorcycle – built by Vincent at its Stevenage Old Town factory.

The made-to-order model was exported to Australia for racer Tony MacAlpine. It was then sold to Jack Ehret who rode it at an average 141.5 miles per hour to set Australia’s land speed record in 1953. The bike will return to Australia – it’s buyer was an undisclosed Australian businessman.

Its rarity (only 19 are known to exist), history and unrestored condition were key factors in its record price.

The Vincent factory closed due to bankruptcy in 1955 after 27 years. The historic building on the High Street is now part of Thomas Alleyne school.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Hertfordshire Life

Yesterday, 16:54

Don’t miss the November issue of Hertfordshire Life - out now!

Read more
Yesterday, 11:18

With the number of UK couples running businesses together on the rise, Sandra Deeble talks to four Herts ‘co-preneurs’ about how they make it work

Read more
October 2018

Historic farm buildings in Essendon have undergone a multi-million pound redevelopment to host a different kind of animal – heritage Aston Martin cars. Richard Burton visits the state-of-the-art showroom and workshops

Read more
October 2018
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Make the most out of autumn with these eight walking routes that take in a variety of Hertfordshire’s terrains and - most importantly – have a cosy pub along the way

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Nothing beats wrapping up warm and heading out to see a bonfire and fireworks display. We have gathered 17 places in Hertfordshire to see a dazzling performance

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Pulled and rolled Jacob’s ladder with potato, carrot and leek cake, roasted baby leeks and veal jus

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

It’s 3,000 miles of ocean, two hours on and two hours off for around 40 days - a St Albans geologist is taking up the challenge of rowing the Atlantic

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

We've selected a variety of spooky activities in the county that are sure to delight the kids

Read more
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Auberge du Lac opened its doors in 1998 and we are inviting you to celebrate the restaurants fabulous history on Wednesday 28th November.

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Christmas isn’t complete without a trip to a festive fair. From German-style food stalls to vintage fetes, Hertfordshire’s Christmas markets have it all

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search