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Black Prince sells for world record sum at auction

The 1955 Vincent Black Prince was described as the `two-wheeled Bentley`
The 1955 Vincent Black Prince was described as the `two-wheeled Bentley`
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by Philip Lovegrove

1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince Project breaks record for a Black Prince sold at auction, during Bonham's Summer Classic Sale of Motorcycles and Motorcars last weekend

Going, going, gone. A 1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince Project has broken the record for a Black Prince sold at auction, with the bike selling for a whooping £91,100.

The classic motorbike was part of an auction at Bonham's Summer Classic Sale of Motorcycles and Motorcars last weekend (7 June) in Kidlington, and was sold at four times its estimate to an anonymous telephone bidder.

Bonhams commented after the bidding, saying: "A 1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince Project created a bidding frenzy, as two gentlemen on the phone battled for their most coveted item. Both bidders had a personal attachment to the bike; one having owned a Black Knight in his youth but always yearned for the superior Black Prince, the other (the eventual winner) sharing a birth year with the bike, and wanting to gift himself the Prince for his birthday."

The Vincent Black Prince was a British motorcycle produced between 1954 and 1955, and was described as the "two-wheeled Bentley" by company owner Philip Vincent, attracting enormous attention at the 1955 Earls Court show. Shortly after production though, the company could no longer continue in the face of heavy losses and manufacturing of the motorcycle ceased almost immediately.

In the motorcycle department, over 115 lots were sold totalling nearly £714,000. This included a former Nigerian king's 1921 Rudge 499cc Multi selling for just under £5,000 and a 1951 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow Project selling for over £50,000.

"This year's sale was outstanding - an electric atmosphere, and delighted sellers and bidders," said Ben Walker, Bonhams Director for Motorcycles. "With a 93 per cent sale achievement and 115 lots sold, it was certainly our best 'Banbury Run' motorcycle sale to date.

"With many exceptional models for sale - some of which haven't been available for public sale in decades - we had bids coming in from all over the globe," he added.

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