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.

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