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lightning for sale

Bracker1

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
A quick question about the bike on e bay. Is it one of the original lightnings of the 31 produced? It was built up by ted davis and was unclear if it is a cobbled together mess or a lightning. 85000uk seems low from a bike of historic significance, or are the values dropping? Sorry i didn't post a link, but it is the first bike that pops up on the uk ebay website. Thanks
 

b'knighted

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
It was built up by ted davis and was unclear if it is a cobbled together mess or a lightning.

Yes.
It is probably the one he had in his garden when I collected my first "all matching" Comet from him in 1977.
This century I learned that someone else has a non-matching Comet with the same engine number but with a more likely matching number.
Say n'more, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
 

Monkeypants

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Perhaps this Lightning , or "Lightning Tribute" bike could someday become historically significant just because of what it is NOT. "And here in my collection I have the famous bike that old so and so pulled one over on old so and so with...."
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I think the short answer is no, but with a few notes. The list of Lightning motorcycles can be found in MPH 421 at pages 12 and 13. I do not think it is helpful to say as the ad does "Only 31 Black Lightnings were built before production ended in 1952" because production did not end in 1952. I think the ad may have mistaken the end of the records as the end of production. However, many well-known Lightnings were built after the records ended: Burns & Wright, Martz/Auger, Bill Cottom, Franc Trento, etc. For those who are not familiar with the records, they in fact did not end, but the later records were lost or destroyed.

Having said that, Ted Davis is known to have built racing bikes while at the Factory. I would think the value of the bike could be based on the provenance, namely, how well the bike is documented and what races and results are known. The better the documentation, the better the price.

David
 

Shanghai

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
The same bike was auctioned on August 31st with an estimate of GBP75-90K.
It didn't sell. At this estimate a "Real" lightning would have sold I would think.
See the thread "Real or Fake" from last week.
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
The same bike was auctioned on August 31st with an estimate of GBP75-90K.
It didn't sell. At this estimate a "Real" lightning would have sold I would think.
See the thread "Real or Fake" from last week.

Good reverse logic! I didn't think Bracker1 could see that post, so I did not mention it.

David
 

clevtrev

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Having said that, Ted Davis is known to have built racing bikes while at the Factory. I would think the value of the bike could be based on the provenance, namely, how well the bike is documented and what races and results are known. The better the documentation, the better the price.

David
I think you should have said, `out the back of the factory`
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I think you should have said, `out the back of the factory`

I make an effort to be accurate as best I can so I will say that I was specifically referring to the "White Lightning" that he put together in 1949. He built it for lightness with no paint and cut the generator lug off, among other items, presumably to beat George Brown on Gunga Din. He was not successful (see MPH 527 at 26.)

I know many Vincent owners feel that Ted made a great contribution to the Vincent marque and he did. Unfortunately, he also made an equally large contribution to the confusion surrounding some very rare Vincents and a large number of rare Vincent parts.

David
 
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