The nearly $1 million sale of a rare Vincent Black Lightning has set a new record for the highest price ever paid for a single motorcycle at a public auction.
Going under the gavel at $929,000 at a Bonhams auction held at the Rio Hotel and Casino, the unrestored Vincent bested the previous sales record set in 2015 when a 1915 Cyclone, once owned by the actor-rider Steve McQueen, went for $775,000.
The historically significant 1951 Black Lightning race bike is one of only 30 similar models built by Vincent in Stevenage, England. After leaving the factory, the special order Vincent was exported to Australia, where under the ownership of racer Jack Ehret it would go on to set that country’s land speed record.
The bike’s racing history, combined with the rarity of the model and its unrestored condition, contributed to the record-setting sales price.