American journalist, author and motorcycle enthusiast Hunter S. Thompson once described the Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle as being so fast that “…it’s pure hell on the straightaway, it’ll outrun the F-111 until take-off.”
The description is apt, as on 15 April, H&H Classics will offer for sale a 1952 Vincent Black Shadow Series C at its popular Imperial War Museum, Duxford venue – also the home of The American Air Museum.
Famously, the Black Shadow was an even quicker version of the Vincent Rapide, then the ‘world’s fastest production motorcycle’. The 150mph speedometer hinted at prodigious performance from the Black Shadow’s 1000cc, blueprinted vee-twin: in 1950 the hand built, all-black machine was capable of an easy 125mph. H&H’s 1952 example has ‘matching numbers’ and is in highly original condition – bar 19in alloy rims – just requiring recommissioning to put it back on the road… or runway. It’s estimated at £ 55,000-60,000.
The legendary British ’bike is just one of a stellar 99-lot motorcycle catalogue that will be offered alongside 90 classic cars on 15 April. Other significant entries include a 1933 Velocette KTT MK4 (£13,000-15,000, a verified ex-works machine), a 1962 Norton Manx 30M (£28,000-33,000, with factory frame) and the 1969 Linto 500cc Grand Prix racer.
The name ‘Linto’ was a contraction of designer Lino Tonti’s names. Tonti is best known for the design of the Moto Guzzi V7 Sport. After a promising debut for his GP machine in 1968, Tonti decided to build a run of 15 for 1969, all bearing a potent 64bhp ‘twin’ of his own design. Discovered in Argentina in totally original condition, and coming out of a Japanese museum, the ’bike offered by H&H is one of the 15 and offers collectors a unique opportunity to acquire a rare piece of racing machinery from one of the golden eras of Grand Prix racing. Estimate: £90,000-110,000.
And for those looking for more up-to-date two-wheeled Grand Prix technology, there’s Darren Dixon’s 1988 British Championship-winning 1988 Suzuki RG500 MK14 estimated at £30,000-35,000, while lovers of nostalgia will appreciate H&H’s ‘teenager special’ 1977 Yamaha FS1-E, the immortal ‘fizzie’, modestly estimated at £2,500-3,500.