By the Motorcycle Classics staff
One of the many pleasant surprises at the 2014 Barber Vintage Festival was Bev Bowen's 1950 Vincent Black Shadow, “Felix.”
In 2013 the Barber Vintage Festival became the largest vintage motorcycle gathering in the U.S., with almost 62,000 attendees, a 10-fold increase from the first festival, held in 2005. It didn’t stop there, as the 10th Annual Barber Vintage Festival, held Oct. 10-12, 2014, hit a new high, breaking the 65,000 barrier.
A major draw among many was the astounding gathering of HRD Vincent motorcycles, made possible thanks to well-known Vincent specialist Somer Hooker and the Hillbilly Vincent Owners, who hosted a Vincent rally in North Carolina prior to the Barber event, with many owners riding their Vincents to Alabama. On hand among the estimated 55 Vincents was Gunga Din, test bed for the Black Shadow and Black Lightning, along with surprises like Bev Bowen’s 1950 Black Shadow, “Felix.” Built in 1960 by Jack Wilson as a Bonneville Salt Flats racer it never raced on the salt, but it ran spectacularly at Barber, as you can hear for yourself in this video. Gene Brown’s 1932 Python Sport took top honors at the Motorcycle Classics Vintage Bike Show, which was held alongside the Vincent gathering. Perfectly restored, it’s likely the oldest HRD Vincent in the U.S.
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