The ex-Tony McAlpine, Jack Ehret, Australian Land Speed Record Breaking, 4 owners from new,1951 Vincent 998cc Black Lightning

A NEW WORLD RECORD!
The Jack Ehret Speed Record-Setting 1951 Vincent Black Lightning sells for nearly $1-million in Las Vegas


The Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction
25 Jan 2018
Las Vegas, Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino
The ex-Tony McAlpine, Jack Ehret, Australian Land Speed Record Breaking, 4 owners from new,1951 Vincent 998cc Black Lightning

Las Vegas -- Thursday, January 25, 2018 --- 16:30 PST (-8 GMT) -- To the sound of cheers and applause in a packed ballroom at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Bonhams - led by auctioneer Malcolm Barber - just sold the rare, original condition, British-made, Australian speed record-setting, 1951 Vincent Black Lightning motorcycle for $929,000, making it the most valuable motorcycle ever sold at auction.

Built by special order and imported new into Australia by Tony McAlpine, the Vincent Black Lightning – number 7305 – is one of just approximately 30 Black Lightning models ever built by the Stevenage, England factory.

At the time of its build, another well-known Vincent nicknamed "Gunga Din" was undergoing work in the factory. Upon completion of both, the two machines were contested at an airfield where it was said that McAlpine's bike was a clear 30 yards ahead of Gunga Din, and factory records later indicated speeds in excess of 130mph in third gear.

Most important, however, was that in 1953 the McAlpine-ordered motorcycle smashed the existing Australian speed record when Jack Ehret achieved an average speed of 141.5mph. Under the ownership of Ehret, the Black Lightning would also clinch numerous race victories throughout Australia and become renowned around the globe.

"Rollie Free and Marty Dickerson, both legends in the Vincent universe, knew of this motorcycle and Ehret's acclaim," says Ben Walker, Bonhams Head of Motorcycling. "After the 'Bathing Suit Bike' ridden by Free, the Ehret bike is likely the most important Black Lightning in existence and is one of the world's most desirable machines."

In original, unrestored and running condition – recommissioned by none other than Vincent master Patrick Godet, this tremendously important and rare Black Lightning was in Ehret's ownership for nearly 50 years.

Links -- Bonhams Auctioneers since 1793 -- Bonhams' 8th annual motorcycle auction.


NOTES FOR EDITORS

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com.

Contacts
  1. Ben Walker
    Specialist
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 8963 2819
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2801

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