Black Shadow back in the limelight

A 1949 HRD Vincent Black Shadow Series C motorcycle is ready to go under the Charterhouse hammer at its auction of classic motorcycles on Wednesday, May 10.

The auction will take place at The Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset.

The 1949 HRD Vincent Black Shadow Series C in the hallways of its octogenarian owner’s Cambridge home.

“The Vincent Black Shadow is a thumping great machine. With its 1,000cc engine it would take its owners to 125 mph at a time when most family saloon cars would struggle to go half as fast,” commented Matthew Whitney.


“They always have been, and always will be, one of the most sought after motorcycles, and this is a rare opportunity for a buyer to acquire a beautifully restored matching numbers Black Shadow.”

When new the Vincent Black Shadow was sold as the world’s fastest production motorcycle, with all bikes sold tested to 125 mph. ‘Shadows’ were so expensive to produce that Vincent actually sold them at a loss.

The Charterhouse Black Shadow was bought by the owner as a box of bits in 2008 and he spent the next year fully restoring the Vincent. It was known to be last on the road in 1979. Since this restoration, the bike has covered just 200 miles and lived in its owner’s hallways in his Cambridge home where he (and his wife) could appreciate it every day.


The matching numbers Black Shadow is only being offered for auction as the owner is 85 years old and he does not think he will ride it again. It is estimated it will sell for £70,000-80,000* in the Charterhouse specialist classic motorcycle auction.

Charterhouse is accepting late entries for the event, which starts at noon; viewing is on the sale day only, from 9am.

Catalogues are available from Charterhouse or you can see all the motorcycles on where live internet bidding is also available.


Charterhouse is also accepting entries for its two-day May 18-19 auction, featuring silver, watches, jewellery with Royal Doulton and Beswick, and for its next specialist sale of classic and vintage cars on June 18.

For further information regarding these auctions, or to arrange a home visit, contact Matthew Whitney or Richard Bromell at Charterhouse, The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne; telephine 01935 812277; or email items for valuation at

*plus Buyers Premium of 12% incl VAT


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