The Quail Motorcycle Gathering was held this past weekend and in conjunction with the other activities, Bonhams held an auction. I was curious about the results so I browsed past Steve McQueen’s FIM international driver’s license, which sold for $42,700, and instead looked over the motorcycles. The top seller was a 1950 Vincent Series C White Shadow which sold for $111,150. A tidy sum for a motorcycle, but what I was thinking was, what the heck was a Vincent White Shadow? There’s the Vincent Black Shadow, Black Lightning and Black Prince, … but White Shadow? Never heard of it.
The description describes the model’s distinction in this way:
The consigned machine is a rare White Shadow. Unlike the Black Prince, Black Shadow and Black Lightning, the White Shadow eschewed black, stove enamel engine cases, and these rare models were sold with bare metal cases. This example is one of them, thus the White Shadow nomenclature. A further rarity is the Chinese Red frame. Once again, most Vincent frames were also black, with precious few done in red by the factory. Some Vincents have had their frames repainted red by subsequent owners.
You learn something every day. Of course, all of you Vincent experts out there will probably have many more details about these particular models, but given the Vincent’s notoriety among classic motorcycles, it’s interesting to still come up with something a little off the beaten path. Neat.