Auction Block: 1949 Vincent Black Lightning

When it was first created, the Vincent Black Lightning was both the most expensive and the fastest motorcycle in the world. And while it’s 150 MPH limit is certainly impressive, it’s far from top-tier nowadays. It’s former title, however, is still safe and sound – or at least it should be once this 1949 example leaves the auction block.

Up for sale courtesy of Bonhams, this is actually the 2nd example of a Vincent Black Lightning to ever roll off the factory floor – making it one of the rarest vehicles on the planet. It’s powerful 998cc V-twin engine was actually never intended for street use – meant instead for performance racing, with magnesium alloy components throughout, Specialoid pistons, and twin Amal 10TT9 carburetors. This allowed for 70 bhp – 15 more than found in its brother, the Black Shadow. When this bike heads to auction at the Barber Vintage Festival, it’s expected to sell for at least $400,000, but will likely fetch more.

Purchase: $400,000+