1938 Brough Superior SS80,
Lot 315
First registered to George Brough Esq,1938 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1998 Engine no. BS/X 4699
Sold for £25,300 (US$ 42,524) inc. premium
Lot Details
First registered to George Brough Esq
1938 Brough Superior 982cc SS80
Registration no. ETV 331
Frame no. M8/1998
Engine no. BS/X 4699
George Brough was no shrinking violet when it came to marketing his quality motorcycles, the very name Brough Superior being a master-stroke in marketing terms. Although frequently described as ‘The Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles’, his sporting machines had more in common with the vintage Bentley and contemporary brochures referred to the Brough Superior as “a type of machine designed from the experienced solo rider’s point of view”. The SS80 was introduced in 1922, powered by a JAP engine and came with a guarantee of an 80mph top speed in road trim. George Brough himself, on an SS80, achieved the distinction of riding the first side valve-engined machine to lap Brooklands at 100mph.

The 1930’s saw the Brough Superior marque well established with a healthy order book, Brough favouring JAP engines in the early years of that decade. In 1935 the SS80 was re-launched with the 982cc, side-valve, V-twin engine from Associated Motor Cycles which differed from the earlier Matchless engines, featuring ‘knife-and-fork’ big-end bearing arrangement, and it was this engine that Brough Superior favoured until production was curtailed by hostilities in 1939.

This example was first registered on 11th July 1938 by George Brough of Haydn Road, Nottingham, and the original buff log book offered with this bike bears the master’s signature. Changing hands later that year, ownership remained with an A E Briggs of Lancashire until 1945 and the bike subsequently enjoyed a remarkable succession of ownership, detailed in no less than four old style buff log books which reflect its continuous history through to March 1978. In 1981, in the previous owner’s hands, this bike was stripped for restoration, (the engine found to be in generally good order), and some 26 years later was acquired part dissembled from the then owner who was in his eighties. The present owner has assembled the machine which was found to be remarkably complete in all respects, however, although it has been kicked over, the absence of spark has prevented the starting and running of the bike. The machine comes with a history file including a copy of the original Factory Records showing supply to A E Briggs and a note suggesting that at some stage the original Norton gearbox has been replaced with another Norton unit. Some invoices relating to restoration come with the bike along with a tax disc from 1979, perhaps the last time this machine was used on the road. The bike comes also with photographs clearly showing its originality, taken in April 1974. It also comes with a Swansea registration document. The vendor advises that as the machine has not been road tested since assembly, the most careful safety checks and recommissioning be carried out.