It’s not often you see an amazing trio of Brough Superiors up for auction. But three bikes will be for sale on November 16th, 2016 at the H&H Classic Donington Auction. All three motorcycles come from the last decade of Brough Superior manufacturing before the outbreak of World War 2. In 1940, the motorcycle factory was turned over to produce Rolls Royce aircraft engines, and when peace came, a shortage of parts saw the end of the most prestigious motorcycle manufacturer of the period.
George Brough did continue to service the motorcycles he made until the late 1960s. And the reason they were named Brough Superior was to distinguish them from the Brough motorcycles originally produced by his father, William Brough.
Around 1,000 Brough Superiors are estimated to still survive. Which makes them a good investment, especially with the interest in the new modern Brough Superior.
1930 Brough Superior SS 680 Black Alpine
The 1930 Brough Superior 680 Black Alpine is a complete motorcycle with original matching numbers and is estimated to sell for between £150,000 to £160,000. The matched numbers mean you get the original frame, engine and gearbox, which makes it rare indeed considering only around 65 machines were ever produced with a spring frame.
The Black Alpine would have cost you £125 in 1930. Considering the average wage was around £200 at the time, you can appreciate it wasn’t a mass market machine. The Brough Superior SS680 O.H.V was powered by a J.A.P 680cc overhead valve V-twin. Somewhat keeping with the mountain name, the first owner was a D.R Venables who took the Brough Superior for a tour of Switzerland and the south of France accompanied by a friend in a Morgan three wheeler.
Meanwhile the second owner, carpenter Chris Arthurs, bought the Black Alpine, fitted a sidecar and used the bike to travel to repair Mosquito aircraft during World War 2, and eventually sold it forty years later when he was in his 80s.
1934 Brough Superior SS 680 Black Alpine
If you think owning the same bike for four decades was impressive, then you’ll like this later 1934 Brough Superior SS 680 Black Alpine. This motorcycle had the same owner for 50 years. Again, it has original matching numbers, and comes with optional factory-fitted sports rear suspension and Castle front forks. It’s expected to reach £120,000 to £140,000.
1939 Brough Superior SS80
No vintage Brough Superior is ever cheap – even a pile of parts can cost tens of thousands. So the comparative bargain of the 1939 Brough Superior SS80 is an estimated £80,000 to £85,000. But for that investment, you’ll get a three owner motorcycle with all original factory-fitted options and matching numbers. The SS80 was powered by a J.A.P or Matchless 1000c sidevalve V-twin engine.
A total of around 1,086 SS80s were produced between 1920 and 1940, with the Matchless ending coming into use from 1935. The name came from the guarantee that the bikes could reach 80mph.