This week's exceptional lots

Is the Black Shadow the ultimate motorcycle from the forties and fifties?

We currently have one of the most wanted motorcycles of the last century up for auction. We are talking about the Vincent Black Shadow HRD 1000 Series D from 1955. Partly due to its capability of reaching a top speed of 200 kilometres an hour, this motorcycle was, for many, the ultimate motorcycle during the forties and fifties. Back then, there was no faster vehicle on the road. Our motorcycle expert John Searly explains why this motorcycle is so special!

So what was it that made the British brand ‘Vincent’ so attractive? The main reason was that there simply was no faster vehicle on the road than the Vincent Black Shadow. The motorcycle that we currently have in our auction was one of the last Vincents ever made, and that’s why it is expected to reach such a high amount. In the end, there were only 144 of these Black Shadows ever made. The motorcycle in our auction is a factory original and that makes it even more valuable.’

In his swimming trunks

Vincent Black Shadow was able to reach such high speeds thanks to its powerful 1000cc V-Twin engine, which had innovative details for its time. The motorcycle received worldwide attention when the American Roland Free broke the speed record on this motorcycle in 1948. What makes this even more striking was the fact that he was riding the bike lying down, wearing only his swimming trunks. The photo where Free is seen breaking the record, lying on the motorcycle, is to this day one of the most iconic photos of motorcycling.’


The auction is live until the 1st November. Take a look at the motorcycle by going to:

Create your free Catawiki account

At Catawiki, you’ll be surprised every week with the impressive selection of special objects we have on offer. Create your free account today and explore our weekly auctions curated by our team of experts.

Create account
Share this article
Close Created with Sketch.
Not registered yet?
By creating your free Catawiki account, you’ll be able to bid on any of our 35,000 special objects up for auction every week.
Register now!