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Rusted Vincent Black Prince sets record price

1955 Vincent Black Prince Project
1955 Vincent Black Prince

This heap of rusted and battered parts is a 1955 Vincent Black Prince and it has just sold for the record price of £91,100 ($162,800).

A restored 1955 Vincent Black Prince
A restored 1955 Vincent Black Prince

It fetched almost four times its estimated value at the £2.4 million ($4.3m) Bonhams Summer Classic Sale of 115 motorcycles in the UK over the weekend. The bike set a new record for a Black Prince sold at auction.

The bidding between two protagonists apparently got a bit out of hand and serves as a salutary lesson for would-be collectors not to let the heart rile the head when bidding at auction.

The two man bidders battled over the phone for the Vincent Black Prince for which they had a personal attachment. One said he owned a Black Knight in his youth but always yearned for the superior Black Prince. The other bidder, and the eventual winner, said he was born in 1955 when the bike was made and wanted to buy the Prince for his birthday.

The motorcycle comes in pieces and will require extensive and expensive restoration to be roadworthy or even a museum piece.

It was the top lot of the motorcycle sale which also included four Vincent selling over their estimated values. Bonhams director for motorcycles, Ben Walker, said it was their best ‘Banbury Run’ motorcycle sale to date.

Brits obviously have an affection for the venerable brand which was once claimed to be the maker of the world’s fastest motorcycles. The “Vincent motorsickle” was also one of the “Reasons to be Cheerful” in rock singer Ian Dury’s 1979 hit of the same name.