For the first time in its 59 runnings, the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance hosted a class of motorcycles. With a tip of the hat to the legendary Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races, British bikes were selected for this inaugural class outing.
Entrants ranged from a 1913 Premier 3-1/2 hp 3 speed to a 1957 Manx Norton Featherbed 40M (above). A gorgeous 1956 Ariel Square 4 with Garrard enclosed sidecar, 1938 Triumph Speed Twin, 1954 A.J.S. E-95 Porcupine, 1953 Matchless G45, and a pair of Vincents were among the many highlights.
The two Vincents were the 1947 Vincent-HRD Series B Rapide Special and the 1948 Vincent-HRD Black Shadow Special. "Gunga Din" and "Black Lightning," as they are better known, were truly extraordinary. They even had that famous photo of Rollie Free stripped to his bathing suit, lying flat out on the Black Lightning while he set a Bonneville speed record at 150 mph back in 1948! See for yourself in our gallery below.