1953 Vincent Black Shadow Was Fast on the Road, Now Is Fast to Snatch $165K

1953 Vincent Black Shadow 7 photos
Photo: Mecum
1953 Vincent Black Shadow1953 Vincent Black Shadow1953 Vincent Black Shadow1953 Vincent Black Shadow1953 Vincent Black Shadow1953 Vincent Black Shadow
In the motorcycle world, claiming that one of your products is the fastest of its kind is not an easy task. Yet, a British bike maker by the name Vincent was bold enough to claim this not once, but twice in a row.
Vincent first did so with the Rapide, a two-wheeler produced from 1936 to 1955 that could top at 110 mph (177 kph), thus making the manufacturer confident in advertising it as the “world's fastest production motorcycle."

But in 1948, thus overlapping the Rapide for a while, came the related Black Shadow, a V-twin capable of reaching 125 mph (201 kph). Care to guess which bike was now the star of the Vincent lineup?

Powered by a 998cc engine that could crank out 56 hp, the Black Shadow only lasted in production until 1955, with records claiming just under 1,800 of them were ever made. Couple the title of fastest production bike with its rarity, and you’re sure to have a real collectible on your hands.

That’s what some guy must have thought when he stumbled upon this here 1953 Black Shadow at the Mecum motorcycle auction in Las Vegas earlier this month. And he did not hesitate in paying $165,000 for it, effectively placing the bike in the fifth position in the top ten best-selling bikes there.

Now, this particular Black Shadow is not exactly all original, as after it went through a restoration process a while back, it was also gifted with some new parts. They include the exhaust, carburetor, and some clutch parts – for what it’s worth, the original ones were thrown into the deal by the bike’s seller.

As a side note, the Black Shadow is one of just two non-Harley-Davidson motorcycles to make the top ten best-selling list of the Vegas event, the other one being a 1903 Indian that sold for $143,000.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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