Friday, January 30, 2009

What if you won a Vincent motorcycle?

Congratulations! You've just won a perfect, completely restored 1953 Vincent motorcycle in a raffle. The motorcycle is immensely collectible, gorgeous and reputedly capable of 128 mph. It's yours, free and clear -- or, you can take a cash payout.

What would you do?

The motorcycle is on eBay now, up for auction by the foundation that owns it because the raffle winner chose to take the money. The foundation behind the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum must sell the Vincent, to recoup the money it paid the winner.

We can only speculate on whether the winner already has too many priceless Vincent motorcycles to make room for another one (unlikely). Perhaps, in this economy, he needed the money more than a motorcycle.

Here is what he is missing out on, according to the eBay auction:

"This is a Vincent Black Shadow Touring model which sports enameled fenders and beefier tires than a standard Vincent Black Shadow. It was restored by Brent Mayfield of Centerville, Ohio and Canadian Vincent expert, Mike White. The rolling chassis was fully restored and re-bushed and the engine was rebuilt inside and out. Brent and Mike took great pains to use as many refurbished all original parts as possible avoiding replica pieces now available. More than 90% of the fasteners are cadmium plated and the remaining are stainless steel. It is a multi- show winner and, Brent says, a 'one kick starter.'"


  1. Anonymous1/30/2009

    I'd like to point out that museums should not be auctioning off parts of their accessioned collection for just any reason. Acceptable reasons can be found in their collections policy, but I'd guess that the motorcycle ought to be an unnecessary duplicate of others already in the collection, of poor quality, or no longer part of the collecting focus of the museum.

    So there!


  2. I wondered about that too, and hoped you would comment (Museum Erin, right?). The foundation behind the museum does the raffle every year. Maybe they figure it's a separate deal. Each raffle brings in money plus enough to buy a motorcycle to raffle next year. While the motorcycle is in hand, it's naturally shown in the museum, but is it part of the collection? In any case, as an annual activity, this at least is not a case of madly selling off objects to keep the doors open.

  3. Wowzers. I'm not one to collect things that go unused, so I'd probably ride it to work as my primary transportation (when it's not raining/freezing). It would get plenty of use and I'd be the happiest rider on the road. Is that wrong?

  4. During my work with museums, there were always items that were not archived in the official collections, but were nonetheless displayed if it was believed they would have an educational or entertaining value to the general public. There were always certain legal procedures to follow, but it was never any real issue. We occasionally sold, auctioned, or gave away numerous old coins that were not a part of our official collection, but were nonetheless on display anyways.

    That is a nice looking motorcycle. I don't know much about Vincents, but holy smokes, I would've taken that motorcycle hands down! Now, if I could only come up with $80,000 cash in this crumbling economy...

  5. Anonymous1/31/2009

    Sounds like the raffle bike was never accessioned into the collection, which is good to know! In that case, I totally approve of the fundraiser, especially if it generates buzz about the museum.

    There's some old stuff at my museum I'd LIKE to auction off, but it's against the rules. :)

    It's a nice assurance that the bike that you win has been maintained/restored by museum professionals, though I wonder how that affects ride-ability.



Follow royalenfields on Twitter