Community Classic and Custom Motorcycles Ehret Vincent Black Lightning: Aussie Record Maker to Las Vegas Bonhams (Photos...

Ehret Vincent Black Lightning: Aussie Record Maker to Las Vegas Bonhams (Photos Gallery)

Las Vegas Bonhams Vegas Motorcycle Auction: Jack Ehret’s Vincent Black Lightning

Even those unfamiliar with motorcycle history can picture Rollie Free donning a bathing suit while laying flat across a Vincent Black Shadow.

The picture—arguably the most famous in motorcycling—is from Roland “Rollie” Free’s 1948 record-breaking run at Bonneville Salt Flats (150.313mph).

Though it’s argued that Rollie’s bike may have been a Vincent Black Shadow, the majority believes it was a Black Lightning, making the model one of the rarest in motorcycle collecting.

Jack Ehret Vincent Black Lightning priceThis also puts more of an emphasis on the second-most known Vincent Black Lightning in history—the Australian speed—record maker and race winner ridden and owned by Jack Ehret.

Now that bike will be available during Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Sale September 25 at Rio Hotel & Casino. During the famed motorcycle auction, Ehret’s 1951 Vincent Black Lightning—un-restored and in running condition—will go on the block. The bike is being recommissioned by Vincent guru Patrick Godet.

“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 represents an exceptional opportunity to acquire one of the world’s most desirable machines.”

The Ehret Black Lightning—number 7305—is one of just approximately 30 Black Lightning motorcycles ever built by the Stevenage, England factory. This one was specially ordered and imported into Australia by Tony McAlpine.

Bonhams provides additional history: “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.

Vincent Black Lightning Auction Price“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.”

A price has yet to be set, but expect this bike to sell for more than $250,000.

Bonhams says other consignments are now invited to accompany this rare, original condition and legendary British motorcycle. Owners interested in consigning special motorcycles of all makes and vintages to the Thursday, January 25th auction at the Rio Hotel & Casino may contact:

  • US: 415-391-4000 / motorcycles.us@bonhams.com
  • UK and EU: 0208 963 2817 / motorcycles@bonhams.com

Jack Ehret Vincent Black Lightning Photo Gallery

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Adventure Review (14 Fast Facts)

Suzuki continues to fine-tune, expand, and retract the V-Strom 650 platform, and the latest iteration of the mid-size adventure motorcycle is the 2020 Suzuki...

Lorenzo, Biaggi, Anderson: Set for MotoGP Legends Inductions

Three icons of motorcycle racing will be inducted into MotoGP Legends Hall of Fame throughout the 2020 season: Jorge Lorenzo (5X World Champion) Max...

2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Special Editions First Look (5 Fast Facts)

There will be two new Special Editions added to the 2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 lineup—the Desert Edition and the Alpine Edition.

2020 Suzuki GSX-R750 Buyer’s Guide: Specs & Price

Take Suzuki GSX-R600 supersport chassis and put in a 750cc cheater motor, and you have the 2020 Suzuki GSX-R750. Sure, it doesn't fit in...

The Best of Peter Egan: Book Review (Rider’s Library)

relatable, real. Those qualities have made Peter Egan one of the most widely-read writers of our time. Here's a review of The Best of Peter Egan.

2016-2020 Triumph Thruxton Recall: Side Stand Issues

Triumph Motorcycles America has recalled 3,244 of its 2016-2018 Thruxton, 2016-2019 Thruxton R, and 2020 Thruxton TFC motorcycles due to side-stand issues.