1949 Vincent Black Shadow
1949 Vincent Black Shadow
For Auction

1949 Vincent Black Shadow

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Hi, I am interested in your 1949 Vincent Black Shadow (stock #1108348) listed on Autotrader For Auction.

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Motorcycle Overview

To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys Dare to Dream Collection event, 31 May - 1 June 2024.
Offered Without Reserve $100,000 - $140,000 USD

  • One of approximately 1,700 Black Shadows produced; final year for the Vincent HRD nameplate
  • Retains numbers-matching 998-cc V-twin engine and rear frame
  • A beautiful, impeccably engineered machine from one of motorcyclings storied marques


Please note, this lot is registered in Canada and import duty will be applicable to all countries outside of Canada, including the United States. RM Sothebys will assist buyers with importation and for residents of the USA, in obtaining a US title.

In the pantheon of great motorcycle marques past and present, no name stands taller than Vincent. Established in 1928, when Philip Vincent acquired the assets of defunct motorcycling firm HRD, Vincent HRD built its reputation on its innovative, exquisite, no-compromises engineering and performance that seemed to be years (if not decades) ahead of its time.

Everything Vincent HRD stood for was encapsulated in the Black Shadow, which was introduced in 1948. Approximately 1,700 were built until the firm ceased motorcycle production in 1955. Constructed around a 55-horsepower, 998-cubic-centimeter 50-decree V-twin engine which was employed as a stressed member the Black Shadow was a legitimate 125-mph bike. Just as impressive from the modern perspective, it actually had ride quality and braking capability on par with its speed!

Because of its incredible performance, the Black Shadow has obtained a darkly romantic reputation as a widowmaker (something that Hunter S. Thompsons infamous article on the model did little to diminish). But this sells the Vincent short. The great Peter Egan, reviewing the Black Shadow for the September 1998 issue of Cycle World, found it solid as a brick, unfazed by switchbacks, dips, roller-coaster hilltops, fast sweepers or bumpy mid-speed corners. It is, honestly, one of the nicest-handling bikes Ive ridden, neutral and instinctive on turn-in and lean. His review is full of comparisons to bikes far newer comparisons highly favorable to the Vincent, it must be noted.

Correspondence with the Vincent HRD Owners Club indicates that this Black Shadows engine number is correct for a November 1949 Series C example, and that its engine number corresponds to that of the rear frame, RC4555B. The motorcycles UFM (upper frame member) also bears the number RC4555B; note however that inspection indicates that this is a later stamping. Significantly, 1949 was the last year that HRD was part of the marques name. In 1950, the firm simply became Vincent Motorcycles.

Acquired by the Dare to Dream Collection in 2014, this Series C Black Shadow is so much more than just a vintage motorcycle. Breathtaking even when stationary, it is, truly, a dream machine; it inspires all who look upon it to imagine what it would be like to throw a leg over the saddle, seek out the open road, and explore the ever-beckoning upper limits of that big 150-mph speedometer. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/auctions/dd24/.

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Vehicle History Report

View the CycleVIN motorcycle history report

Vehicle Specifications

  • VIN
    RC4555B
  • Motorcycle ID
    201619719
  • Stock Number
    1108348
  • Category
    Motorcycle
  • Subcategory
    Street
  • Type
    Standard
  • New/Used
    Used
  • Mileage
    N/A
  • Heated Seats?
    No
  • Saddlebags?
    No
  • Cruise Control?
    No
  • Antilock Brakes?
    No

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Contact Dealer
Hi, I am interested in your 1949 Vincent Black Shadow (stock #1108348) listed on Autotrader For Auction.

By using this service you accept the terms of Autotrader Specialty's Visitor Agreement.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.