Ewan McGregor (“Obi-Wan Kenobi” narrates the upcoming doc Speed is Expensive, the highly-anticipated chronicle of an Australian collector that paid $1.2 million to own a Vincent Black Lightning – making it the most expensive motorcycle ever sold. The film will hit premiere in LA Sep 20, and digital/DVD Sep 26 via Virgil Films.
Vincent motorcycles set more records during the 1940s and 50s than any other manufacturer.The bikes were years ahead of their time, and Philip Vincent pioneered what is now known as ‘guerrilla marketing’ – sponsoring LA racers, in secret, to compete in illegal back-street duels to promote his motorcycles.
Owners include Brad Pitt and Ryan Reynolds.
Yet when Vincent passed away in 1979 he was penniless and reduced to living in public housing –his family fortune and personal life were both exhausted by his obsession with speed.
Ewan McGregor’s narration is joined by Vincent fans such as former Tonight Show host Jay Leno, and artist, musician and motorcyclist Paul Simonon of The Clash. The documentary also features the final interview with world champion on two and four wheels, John Surtees, who trained at Vincents.
Hours of unearthed personal films and audio interviews join accounts from Vincent’s family and the men and women who worked with him to provide an intimate portrait of a flawed genius.
Director David Lancaster says: ‘It is wonderful to be able to bring the film to North America with Virgil Films. Over the past years we’ve crossed the globe, from the USA to Australia, to film the world’s most expensive, exciting and beautiful motorcycles and talk to Philip Vincent’s family and remaining colleagues in order to bring Vincent’s story to the screen’.‘I am overjoyed at being able to share this story with everyone. It is an exciting and yet heartbreaking story,’ states Virgil CEO Joe Amodei.
Jay Leno says of the film, ‘It looks great: moving footage of Philip Vincent really brings the story alive – loved it!’Richard Hammond, formerly of Top Gear and now presenter of Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour, says the documentary is…‘beautiful, moving – and wonderfully written.’Today, Philip Vincent is seen as nothing short of a genius – the man whose frame designs the Japanese industry would copy years later and whose Black Shadow model was the fastest motorcycle the public could buy for years after the factory shut its doors in 1955. In the words of Hunter S Thompson, ‘The 1000cc Vincent could outrun the F1-11 until take-off.’