Gallery: One-off 1951 Vincent C Series ‘Red’ White Shadow

A look at the ultra rare and one-off 1951 Vincent C Series ‘Red’ White Shadow motorcycle auctioned by Bonhams UK.


When it comes to the classic motorcycles game, no other brand name carries higher sales values and prices as the British marque known as Vincent Motorcycles. The brand may be defunct now, but each its bikes, all of them rarer than the last, are still commanding high auction prices such as this one-off 1951 Vincent C Series ‘Red’ White Shadow.

The bike was listed by the infamous British auction firm Bonhams where it was sold for a staggering US$434,000 (RM1,749,229) during the Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction in January this year.


One of the reasons why this 1951 Vincent C Series ‘Red’ White Shadow was sold at such a high price was the fact that it was a one-off bike that came dressed in its ‘Chinese Red’ paint scheme. Furthermore, this particular unit was one of only 15 known units of the Vincent C Series White Shadow built by the British marque according to Bonhams.


The Vincent C Series was also available in ‘Black Shadow’ form, of which 1,507 units were known to be produced by Vincent Motorcycles between 1949 and 1952. The White Shadow bikes stood apart from its Black Shadow siblings thanks to its polished bare metal engine and matching cases.

However, this particular White Shadow had its tank, fork tubes, fender braces, brake backing plates and a variety of other parts painted in Vincent’s Chinese Red colour. This special paint was reportedly reserved for the marque’s Rapide touring bike model. How this Vincent C Series White Shadow received this special colour remains a mystery though.


Bonhams did however manage to get some of this bike’s ownership history. The bike’s third owner began restoring this bike somewhere during the 1980s but decided to do a research on the bike beforehand. Then, the bike had its metal parts painted in an unusual shade of green, but the owner managed to ascertain the bike as a C Series White Shadow model and had said parts polished back to its bare metal state.

This then led to the discovery of the bike’s original Chinese Red paint when residue of the hue was found in some of the fork’s crevices, prompting restorers to investigate it further. As a result, restorers had this 1951 Vincent C Series ‘Red’ White Shadow restored to almost its original state having left the forks unpainted instead.


Prior to going under the hammer, this 1951 Vincent C Series ‘Red’ White Shadow was authenticated by the Vincent Owners’ Club with the sale includes a detailed 200-page document containing restoration receipts.

You can read more about this exquisite 1951 Vincent C Series ‘Red’ White Shadow in its Bonhams auction listing online via this link.

1951 Vincent C Series ‘Red’ White Shadow – Bonhams

Source: Bonhams via AutoEvolution

Co-founder of Bikes Republic and a motoring journalist by night. He is a self described enthusiasts with a passion for speed but instead rides a Harley and a J300. A man of contradictions, he is just as passionate about time off in the quiets as he is about trail braking into turn one at Sepang Circuit on two or four wheels.

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