History For Sale : Record-Breaking Vincent Black Lightning

Bonhams to auction Jack Ehret's Australian-land-speed-record-breaking 1951 Vincent Black Lightning at its annual Las Vegas motorcycle auction, Jan. 25, 2018, in Nevada.

Jack Ehret’s 1951 Vincent Black Lightning, still in its original racing form

Jack Ehret’s 1951 Vincent Black Lightning, still in its original racing form

Bonhams
October 2017

Introduced in 1948, the Vincent Black Shadow was without question the first true Superbike of the modern era. Officially timed at 122mph, it was faster than the Jaguar XK120, then the world’s fastest production car. But even more performance was to come with the introduction that same year of the ultimate — and today most collectible — Vincent, the Black Lightning.

Weighing just 360 pounds compared to the Black Shadow’s 458 pounds, the Lightning was a production racer based on the bike that Rollie Free famously rode to an AMA land speed record of 150.313mph. Featuring high-performance racing components, the Lightning produced a claimed 70 horsepower, 15 more than the Black Shadow.

It is generally accepted that no more than 33 Black Lightning’s left the Vincent factory in Stevenage, England, during the model’s 1948 to 1952 production. Those low numbers make any Black Lightning a machine of great rarity and historical importance. Yet few match the bike featured here, the famed 1951 Black Shadow ridden by Australian “Black Jack” Ehret to an Australian land speed record of 141.5mph in 1953 and soon to go up for sale at Bonhams’ annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction, Jan. 25, 2018.

Time warp: The mechanicals of the Ehret Vincent are fully reconditioned, but the bike is otherwise in exactly the condition as when last raced by Ehret.

Time warp: The mechanicals of the Ehret Vincent are fully reconditioned, but the bike is otherwise in exactly the condition as when last raced by Ehret.

The Ehret-Vincent retains the sidecar used by Ehret in sidecar races and all its original competition bodywork.

The Ehret-Vincent retains the sidecar used by Ehret in sidecar races and all its original competition bodywork.

Originally owned by Aussie rider Tony McAlpine, who assembled the bike himself in June 1951 while working at Vincent, it was clocked at 130mph — in third gear — in July that year. McAlpine took the Lightning with him when he returned to Australia later that year, putting the bike up for sale. Car dealer Jack Forrest purchased the Vincent, then raced — and crashed it — in the Australian TT at Bathurst in the Senior Unlimited TT. In fact, Forrest crashed the Lightning in two of the three races he entered the bike. Those experiences apparently soured him on the Vincent, and he subsequently put it up for sale with Sydney Vincent dealers Burling and Simmons, where it was purchased by local racer Jack Ehret.

Like Forrest, Ehret also entered the Lightning in the Australian TT, but with better results, finishing second in the 1952 event. Ehret’s success with the Lightning proved the bike’s superior capacity, and eager to get his name in the record books he set his sights set on the hotly contested Australian Land Speed Record. On Jan. 19, 1953, on a remote stretch of road in western New South Wales, Ehret made his attack on the record, riding the Lightning to an officially timed 140.509mph.

The gas tank, controls and instruments are original. The odometer shows 8,686 kilometers (5,385 miles), all accumulated during its 40-year racing career.

The gas tank, controls and instruments are original. The odometer shows 8,686 kilometers (5,385 miles), all accumulated during its 40-year racing career.

Ehret continued racing the Vincent with great success, often with a sidecar attached. He was Australian Title point’s leader in 1954, and in 1955 he crossed the finish line at Australia’s Mount Druitt race in front of 500cc World Champion Geoff Duke. He finally won at Bathurst in 1956, in the Sidecar TT with George Donkin riding passenger.

By the end of the 1950s, Ehret was no longer racing the Lightning, but in 1968 he pulled it out of storage for a race at Oran Park, coming in a respectable third in the sidecar class with John “Tex” Coleman riding passenger. Ehret would race the bike two more times, again at Oran Park in the late 1970s, but now in the Historic class and winning both of his races, and finally at Eastern Creek in 1993, where he lapped the entire field in the Historic Sidecar races with his son, John, riding passenger. After 40 years racing, the Lightning was finally retired, its provenance cemented with a record of having finished on the podium in 80 percent of its races

Jack Ehret on the Lightning in 1953 showing his riding position for his successful 141.5mph Australian land speed record run.

Jack Ehret on the Lightning in 1953 showing his riding position for his successful 141.5mph Australian land speed record run.

Second chance

Ehret shifted his attention from motorcycle racing to running nightclubs, and in 1999 he sold the bike to Aussie Franc Trento, owner of Euro Brit Motorbikes in Melbourne. Ehret died in 2001, a fact that perhaps inspired Trento to preserve the Lightning in its original race condition. In 2014 Trento sold the Lightning to the current owner, who shipped it to Vincent expert Patrick Godet in his native France.

Once there, Godet and his team stripped the Lightning, rebuilding it internally as needed with new parts made from the original Black Lightning drawings. The crankcases, cylinders and heads are original, but the worn crankshaft was repaired and it has new pistons, piston liners, valves, valve springs and camshafts. Externally, Godet and his team laboured to maintain the bike’s originality, replacing only those items necessary for safe riding. The brake and clutch cables, for instance, feature the original housings, but the inner cables are all new, all done to keep the Ehret Vincent looking exactly as it did when last raced by Jack Ehret.

The Ehret-Vincent retains the sidecar used by Ehret in sidecar races and all its original competition bodywork.

The Ehret-Vincent retains the sidecar used by Ehret in sidecar races and all its original competition bodywork.

Without question the most significant motorcycle to be auctioned at Bonhams’ upcoming annual Las Vegas motorcycle sale, Jan. 25, 2018, the Ehret Vincent is expected to sell for more than R9,0 million rand.

 

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GTI- Born To Be Wild

·         Posted by CCW

The 40th birthday of the Golf GTI this year awakes at least for the old veteran Motorsport fans a lot of great memories. Shortly after its introduction to the market in 1976, the Wolfsburger beast ventured the first attempts on a race-oriented terrain. A good choice, because the Golf GTI sets a new benchmark in terms of the early fame of Volkswagen in the disciplines circuit and rally.

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The Junior Cup: hot races, thrilling duels

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For six years the GTI was the figurehead for the brand-own named race series. The races took place 10 times a year in the supporting program of high-quality circuit events and gave the audience high-class, exciting and dramatic duels. The uniform white lacquer turned into a colourful one in the second Cup-year. German pilots such as Walter Struckmann, who managed to win all ten GTI Cup races in a row in 1978, or Heinz Friedrich Peil and Alfons Hohenester, who both were advancing into the higher-ranking championship, have also performed record-breaking effort. Another record was taken by Berthold Bermel, who managed to participate unbelievable 13 years in different VW Brand Cups

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Also successful in Rally-Racing

Also in rallying, the Golf GTI became a fixed size, which was to be beat. Just one year after the first appearances of the Golf GTI in the Rally sport the Hamburg-born Jochi Kleint won the popular Rally Cross Championship. Volkswagen Motorsport in Hanover has continuously developed the GTI with the result that the Bavarian team Alfons Stock / Paul Schmuck 1981 won the Int. German Rally Championship with their green “Rheila-Golf” (nickname “Frog”). The team Erwin Weber / Manfred Hiemer managed to achieve the same in a factory golf GTI almost ten years later. In the meantime, the best success of the Golf GTI ever was in 1986 – the win of the World Rally Championship for series-close cars by the Swedish Kenneth Eriksson and his German co-driver Peter Diekmann

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GTI as a fixed size at the 24 hour race

With numerous other titles and valuable single victories, the Golf GTI has now been gliding all along for 40 years and is still setting standards in the touring car class. Hardly any championship takes place without a Golf GTI participation and even in the famous long-distance classic, the 24 hours at the Nürburgring, the GTI has proven its reliability with numerous group events and nearly 50 classifications. The Wolfsburg GTI is listed the fourth place in the everlasting brand list of this race since 1970.

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The latest and current model of the successful Golf GTI family is the anniversary model “Club sport”. The turbo direct injection engine delivers 265 HP – making it the most powerful GTI series ever. At the push of a button, the power can be increased up to almost 300 HP for ten seconds thanks to a boost function. Remember: The first Golf GTI from 1976 had just 110 HP – As time goes bye …

 

Report by collectorscarworld.com (Source: volkswagen-classic.de)

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Pebble Beach Concourse D Elegance and Monterey Auction Results 2017.

The Pebble Beach Concours 2017 drew 204 cars from 15 countries and 31 states to the Pebble Beach Golf Links. The judging process at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is two-fold: Class Judges focus primarily on originality and authenticity, while Honorary Judges direct their attention to design, styling and elegance. To be eligible to win Best of Show — the event’s top award — a car must first win its class.

Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2017 was awarded to the 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer owned by Bruce R. McCaw of Bellevue, Washington.

Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2017 was awarded to the 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer owned by Bruce R. McCaw of Bellevue, Washington.

The 1929 German Mercedes had what it takes to win the title over more than 200 other beautiful cars.  The pre-war era car retains its original chrome-plated wheels and was restored by Steve Babinsky of Lebanon, N.J. for McCaw, who has owned the car for several years.

Owner of Rolex Best of Show award at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance received a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Superlative Chronometer

Owner of Rolex Best of Show award at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance received a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Superlative Chronometer

In addition to winning the coveted Best of Show award, the owner also receives a host of other accolades, including a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date just 41 watch with a special "Best of Show" engraving on the case back. Rolex is the official timepiece of the Pebble Beach Concours d' Elegance.  

 

 

 

Top Sales, Monterey 2017

1.      1956 Aston Martin DBR1 Roadster sold for $22,550,000, RM Sotheby's.

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2.      1995 McLaren F1 Coupe sold for $15,620,000, Bonham’s

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3.      1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Coupe sold for $14,520,000, Gooding & Company

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4.      1970 Porsche 917K Race Car sold for $14,080,000, Gooding & Company

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5.      1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Coupe sold for $8,305,000, RM Sotheby's

6.     1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Roadster sold for $8,000,000, Bonham’s

7.     1959 Aston Martin DB4GT sold for $6,765,000, RM Sotheby's

8.     1955 Ferrari 121 LM Spider sold for $5,720,000, RM Sotheby's

9.     1959 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Series III sold for $5,335,000, RM Sotheby's

10.     1959 Ferrari 250 GT SI Cabriolet sold for $4,840,000, Gooding & Company

 

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