1922 Brough Superior 981cc MkI Frame no. 469 Engine no. KTC/M/30648
Lot 252
1922 Brough Superior 981cc MkI Frame no. 469 Engine no. KTC/M/30648
Sold for £35,050 (US$ 59,556) inc. premium
Lot Details
1922 Brough Superior 981cc MkI
Registration no. MB 1159
Frame no. 469
Engine no. KTC/M/30648
Quite what George Brough’s father - Nottingham-based motorcycle manufacturer William Edward Brough - thought when his younger son cheekily added the word ‘Superior’ to the family name when founding his rival marque can only be imagined, but it’s thanks to this act of youthful bravado that we have one of the greatest and most evocative names in motorcycling. W E Brough’s machines had been innovative and well engineered, and his son’s continued the family tradition but with an added ingredient - style. The very first Brough Superior of 1919 featured a saddle tank - an innovation not adopted by the rest of the British industry until 1928 - and the latter’s broad-nosed, wedge-profiled outline would be a hallmark of the Nottingham-built machines from then on. Hand built in small numbers, the Brough Superior was - inevitably - expensive, but as its maker acknowledged, he ‘never intended to produce (the) design as cheaply as possible.’

After the first handful of machines had been constructed in temporary premises towards the end of 1919, production shifted to what would be Brough’s permanent home in Haydn Road, Nottingham, where production proper commenced in 1920. J A Prestwich of London and Motosacoche of Geneva supplied v-twin engines for the MkI and MkII Brough Superiors respectively, though within a few years all models would be JAP-powered. The early MkI came with JAP’s famous overhead-valve ‘90 bore’ 986cc 50-degree v-twin engine as standard, though there was an alternative longer-stroke sidevalve version available for sidecar work. Gearboxes were sourced from Sturmey-Archer and (initially) forks from Montgomery, while frame and accessory manufacture was contracted out to specialists in the British motorcycle industry’s Midlands heartland. With the arrival of the sporting SS80 in 1922, the MkI, which more often than not left the factory with the sidevalve JAP installed, took on more of a touring role. The ‘90 bore’ version was not catalogued after the SS100’s introduction in 1924, though the MkI continued to be available with the sidevalve engine for a little while longer

This very early Brough Superior MkI was despatched in September 1922 to Northern Supplies in Oldham, a Brough agency covering all the North of England. In the 1950s the machine was purchased by the late owner in Kent from one Geoffrey Ball, whose father had owned it since the 1930s when a major rebuild had been carried out to bring it up to date. To this end, the forks were replaced, newer brakes and different mudguards fitted, the gearbox changed and a 1924 engine installed. We are advised that the only significant original parts remaining are the frame and possibly the fuel tank. However, ‘MB 1159’ has existed in its current form for at least 70 years and is one of the oldest Brough Superiors in existence, its later modifications notwithstanding. Only nine or ten of this type are known to survive, plus half-a-dozen-or-so spare engines and the like. As currently presented, the machine is far more rideable than a standard Mk I and as an added bonus is fitted with a period Bonniksen ‘100mph’ speedometer. Offered in need of sympathetic restoration, and representing a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the dedicated Brough collector, ‘MB 1159’ comes with old-style continuation logbook (issued 1945), Swansea V5 registration document, a photograph of late owner pictured riding the machine in the 1980s and another of him as a young boy on the Brough c.1937.
Activities
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.