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Jack Ehret Vincent Sets Record at Bonhams' 2018 Las Vegas Auction

Jack Ehret Vincent Black Lightning

Sold for $929,000: Jack Ehret’s 1951 Vincent Black Lightning. Photos courtesy Bonhams.

The 1951 Vincent Black Lightning ridden by Aussie Jack Ehret in 1952 to an Australian Land Speed Record of 140.509mph sold at Bonhams’ 2018 Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction for a breath-taking $840,000 — a figure that jumps to $929,000 with buyer’s premium! In original, unrestored condition save for a recent mechanical reconditioning by Vincent specialist Patrick Godet in France.

The Vincent was just one of a number of big earners at the Jan. 25, 2018, Bonhams sale. A 1939 Brough Superior SS80 pulled in $120,500, and another Vincent, this time a 1955 Series D Black Prince, drew $104,650. Another record was the $92,000 achieved for a 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30, the most ever paid for the model.

Bonhams’ says it achieved a 75 percent sell-through on approximately 105 lots for a total of $2.86 million. That’s down from 2017’s approximately $4.5 million on 252 lots, but the average sale at the 2018 auction was much higher: $27,238 versus an average sale of $17,857 at the 2017 auction. No doubt the Ehret Vincent pulled the 2018 average up, but overall performance was good.

Other interesting sales included the $4,000 paid for a sketch drawn by Kenneth Howard — aka Von Dutch — of a “Design for Engine Double OHC Triumph” and the $26,250 paid for a circa-1910 Pierce 4-cylinder engine.

Sketch for Triumph engine

This sketch for a double overhead cam Triumph penned by Kenneth Howard — aka Von Dutch — sold for $4,000.

Circa-1910 Pierce engine

This circa-1910 Pierce 4-cylinder engine sold for $26,250.

Rare and Important Early Motorcycles to be Offered in Paris Auction at No Reserve

1930 Majestic

This circa-1930 Majestic is just one of the important early motorcycles that will be auctioned at Retromobile Paris on Feb. 10, 2018.

A collection of approximately 75 mostly pre-1914 motorcycles from the collection of Pierre Guélon will be offered at no reserve at the Artcurial Auction in conjunction with Retromobile in Paris, France, on Feb. 10, 2018. In the early ’70s Mr. Guélon was disposing of some scrap brass when he happened to notice a jumble of wheels and mechanical parts. He poked and probed through the junkyard pile and discovered they were early motorcycles. He then struck a deal with the proprietors, trading his scrap for their scrap and in the process saving one of the earliest chapters of French motorcycling. His only problem was that there was “some assembly required.” They slowly figured out what went with what and the completed motorcycles were installed in his personal collection, made available to only a select few for viewing.

1928 New motorcycle

The 1928 New Motorcycle was the creation of Frenchman Georges Roy, who was also responsible for the 1929-1933 Majestic.

Through the years, Mr. Guélon acquired some other significant motorcycles including a Brough Superior, a Norton International, and an early Harley-Davidson V-twin with a wood sidecar. The real gems are the early motorcycles, such as the 3-cylinder Anzani and the Peugeot DeDion 3-wheeler. Some early V-twins, such as a Magnot Debon and a Terrot, are also available. One standout is the fully enclosed Majestic. In addition, some 19th century French bikes will be sold. There are National Trust limitations: Any French vehicle over 75 years of age is subject to export limitations. It’s not impossible to export them, just not guaranteed. For more information and updates go to