Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Take a sleek, stylish, and technologically savvy sedan, and inject with pure, hybrid eco-friendliness, and out will come the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. In a world of car manufacturers hybridizing their favorite models, the Hyundai Sonata is a true standout. At first glance, you wouldn’t even know that it’s a hybrid, which is exactly what we …

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Hyundai Sonata

When it comes to contemporary automobiles with subtle, yet refined style, the Hyundai Sonata sits just at the top of the list. This borderline luxury sedan is one of the most comfortable and stylish sedans on the market today. While it may not be the most stand-out in terms of expression and performance, it is …

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Hyundai Palisade

When it comes to making affordable, functional, and stylish vehicles, no other car manufacturer seems to be able to do it quite like Hyundai does it.  The Hyundai Palisade has helped bring the company to the larger vehicle market, as it is one of their best and biggest three-row SUVs that they have ever released. …

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Hyundai Kona

When it comes to developing stylish, budget-friendly, and fuel-efficient vehicles, Hyundai has been on a roll. The Kona is one of the most charming vehicles that has come out in the past couple of years. With a tight and punchy powertrain that is fun to drive and a stylish design that provides you with class …

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Hyundai Ioniq

You usually know when you’re looking at a hybrid or electric car thanks to the least-aerodynamic designs and non-intimidating looks.  With the Hyundai Ioniq, that is not the case. It does a great job at being as unassuming as possible, although it’s a wonderful electric vehicle. A History of the Hyundai Ioniq The Hyundai Ioniq …

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Vincent Black Shadow
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The first superbike in history is arguably still the best superbike in history, and it’s the Vincent Black Shadow. Iconic is an understatement for this British motorcycle.

A World War II Superbike

When this motorcycle hit the market in 1948 during World War II, it represented a whole new world of motorcycles in the midst of a chaotic world. With an original top speed of 122 mph, it was truly a marvel in its time. In fact, it’s still a marvel in this time. There were three different, distinct series produced of this brand of motorcycle, which unfortunately went out of production in 1955. 

Produced out of England, it is so iconic in part because of its place in World War II. A British bike for British people who were defending themselves against the Nazis. It doesn’t get much more poetic than that. 

Historic Motorcycle with Iconic Parts

The engines for the Vincent Black Shadow mainly came from production parts that came from Rapide. Everything on these bikes was selected by hand, with Rapide cam shafts and other engine parts. 

One iconic aspect of these superbikes was their distinctive black engine. The owner of the company insisted that all of the engines were painted black, which lent itself both to mystique and stealth. This isn’t some schoolboy’s scooter, it’s meant to be a beautiful and distinctive piece of machinery that is unlike anything else on the road. The suspension uses a cantilever system,  and the rear frame has a distinctive triangular shape. The chronometric speedometer was mounted basically vertically from its second year of production. A Lucas magneto starter finishes out this powerful bike.

Safety seemed to be an actual concern for Vincent HRD, the manufacturer. Other models of American motorcycles only had rear brakes at the time, but Vincent had four brake drums. That meant that this motorcycle could not only go, it could stop as well. 

Altogether, these iconic parts make this first superbike a remarkable one, not only for looks but for speed and power as well. 

Evolution of the Black Shadow

The Vincent Black Shadow rolled off the line in three series during its production. 

The first, the Series B, was one of the first racing superbikes. Following that, Series C and Series D were each faster and with a few improvements. 

Notably, Engineers Phil Iriving and the head of the shop disobeyed owner Frank Walker to create the C and D models, as Walker initially refused to move forward with their production. 

A Favorite of the Famous

The Vincent Black Shadow is beloved by not only by historians, but also by collectors. Comedian and Tonight Show host Jay Leno famously calls the Vincent Black Shadow his favorite motorcycle. That’s meaningful considering he’s known for his incredibly passionate love of automobiles and motorcycles. 

The Vincent Shadow was a favorite of author Hunter S. Thompson, who mentioned it repeatedly in his classic 1971 novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He once wrote of the bike “”If you rode the Black Shadow at top speed for any length of time, you would almost certainly die. That is why there are not many life members of the Vincent Black Shadow Society.”

Why are these bikes still so loved today? The answer is craftsmanship. Vincents were made mostly by hand, especially prior to 1951. However, that kind of attention to detail and love for the crafting process just couldn’t keep going. Vincent HRD shut its doors in 1955. Luckily, this prolific superbike lives on today with collectors and passionate motorcycle enthusiasts.

Author

editor@carsandmileswebsite.com
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