Lot 38

2013   |   Pebble Beach Auctions 2013

1951 Vincent Black Shadow

SOLD $132,000


$125,000 - $150,000| Without Reserve


RC 8942 B/C



Car Highlights

A Fully Matching-Numbers Shadow
Wonderfully Presented and Perfectly Upgraded
A Running, Usable Example
Offered with Restoration Receipts
A Rare and Iconic Machine

Technical Specs

998 CC OHV 50˚ V-Twin
Twin AMAL Carburetors
55 BHP at 5,500 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
Front and Rear Drum Brakes
Vincent Girdraulic Forks and Cantilever Rear Springing

Saleroom Addendum

*Please note that the complete engine number for this motorcycle is F10AB/1B/7042. The catalogue description omitted the “AB”.

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This Motorcycle

The Vincent Black Shadow has become, perhaps, the most legendary motorcycle of all time, and when one considers its numerous merits, the attention is well deserved. Introduced in 1941, the Black Shadow was capable of an astonishing 125 mph. As a highly tuned version of the Vincent Rapide, the sub-500-lb. motorcycle boasted 55 hp. Well ahead of its time as a production bike, the Shadow was not matched for outright speed until the early 1970s.

Since its inception, the Black Shadow has been an iconic and desirable piece, and not just among motorcycle aficionados. Over the decades, individuals have clamored to own one of these hallowed motorbikes, and this particular example caught the eye of two California enthusiasts in search of a very pure bike. Upon inspection, the Shadow proved matching-numbers stem to stern, with the frame, rear frame, and engine all coinciding. After acquiring the Vincent around 2005, the motorcycle was entrusted to the highly regarded John Mossey Restorations of Hertfordshire, UK. In conjunction with Conway Motors Limited, also well known in Vincent circles, Mossey completed a restoration of the Black Shadow focusing on both presentation and function.

With its handsome full black livery, striped wheel rims, and large-diameter 150 mph speedometer, the Black Shadow is very accurately finished. Furthermore, the motorcycle benefits from a number of sensible upgrades, including a supplemental center stand, an electric starter, and air cleaners on both carburetors, all of which are reversible. The Vincent has also had a recent servicing, assuring its usable state. The Black Shadow remains equally impressive as a static display piece or as a runner, showcasing the quality of the 8-year-old restoration. Additionally, its former English registration plate and restoration receipts accompany the Shadow.

Today, the Black Shadow represents a must-have for most motorcycle collectors and has become a staple in many of the world’s finest car collections. With just under 1,700 Black Shadows produced, and more and more examples joining permanent collections, this is a great opportunity to acquire a matching-numbers bike. Regardless of intent, this particular example suits many purposes and will remain an iconic collectible for decades, for the Black Shadow is inherently cool.