The Ehret Vincent Series C Black Lightning (tested in AMCN) which Aussie Jack Ehret rode to an Australian land speed record of 141.5mph (228km/h) in 1953, is heading home to Australia following its record-breaking auction price of AUD$1.19m at Bonhams Auctions in Las Vegas (AMCN Vol 67 No 15)
Sydney motorcycle dealer and racer Ehret purchased the bike in 1952 and was still winning races on it more than four decades later.
In 1999, noted Vincent enthusiast Franc Trento purchased the Black Lightning, and preserved the bike in its ‘as used’ condition, which included regular outings at the Broadford Bike Bonanza.
The bike left Australia in 2014 headed for France in the hands of collector Nicolas Dourassoff who asked Vincent expert Patrick Godet to recommission it. Dourassoff also made sure the bike regularly saw track work, including Alan Cathcart’s test ride for AMCN Vol 67 No 13.
The recent Bonhams sale set a new record for an under-the-hammer price paid for a motorcycle, bettering the US$775,000 (AU$991,000) paid in 2015 for a 1915 Cyclone motorcycle once owned by the actor-rider Steve McQueen.