1929 Brough Superior Overhead 680
Registration no. JA 345
Frame no. J 926
Engine no. GTOY/S 65653
The Brough Superior has been justly compared to both Bugatti and Rolls-Royce based on looks, performance and desirability, resulting with the Nottingham make building a comparable reputation almost since its inception. George Brough succeeded his father, William Brough, as a motor cycle maker, although very different considering George's 'Brufsup' was always renowned as a sporting make, without a doubt due to the fearless competition riding of George himself.
Launched in 1919, the first model of the new make, the Mark 1, was exhibited and became the DNA of all models up to 1939. With the powerful v-twin under a saddle tank, it had a trademark appearance which changed little throughout the years. Brough's association with the famous T.E. Lawrence, and the quality and price of the make, led to a succession of publicity-worthy models and events that fuelled a legend which remains potent today.
As the new model for the 1927 season, the overhead valve 680 sported the 70mm x 88mm JAP engine, a re-engineering of the engine-maker's existing side-valve, effectively a smaller SS100. At 100 Guineas, it was a lighter and leaner version of Brough's fastest, and was welcomed by enthusiastic riders who wanted a Brough with easy 80 mph performance, but without the size and weight. Listed at £110, the saving of £60 over the SS100 was an added bonus. The pushrods were enclosed for 1928 and the 680 was catalogued post-vintage until 1935.
JA 345 is a beautiful example of a vintage overhead valve 680 in fully developed form with the optional dual lamps. It is one of the most original known, and is presented without significant change from the day it was dispatched by LNER on July 8th 1929, to Webbs of Stockport. Other works records state 'E Webb, Stockport' and the Stockport 'JA' registration mark confirms this.
In a letter dated June 2000 from Mike Leatherdale, The Brough Superior Club Machine Registrar, states that 'JA 345' 'quite remarkably' matches the Works Record Card. It retains the seat-tube oil tank and other extras listed on the Works Record and it starts easily having been kept in current, but occasional, use by the vendor. Paintwork and plating are very good and the mechanical condition is tight and correct.
The BSOC has no confirmed history between new and 1958 when it was acquired by R C Duwe of Altrincham, Cheshire, except when the Club had a stand at the Classic Bike Show at Belle Vue, Manchester in 1982, a Mr J Hill (address unrecorded) made himself known as a previous owner of 'JA 345'. It is understood that Mr Duwe had a large collection of Vintage motorcycles and had the 680 restored c.1980 by Old Bike Mart founder Ken Hallworth. Thorough maintenance has been carried out since 2000 and further research may well reveal the preceding owners.
In his letter, Mike goes on to say that the Club had previously been advised that 'JA 345' has its original gearbox 'HW.I54452' (stamped on the side of the case) and that it is only the end cover plate, stamped 'HW.I44I05', which has been changed. It is quite unusual for any Vintage-era Brough to retain its original gearbox (this seems to have been a weak point) suggesting the machine has covered only a limited mileage. The engine prefix is 'GTO', this being the JAP code for the 674cc OHV Twin. The frame prefix 'J' is the code for the rigid 680 at this time.
Emphatically not a pampered 'show queen', this lovely machine belies its eighty years, looks magnificent and goes superbly, and comes to sale only due to the vendor's changing plans. Well presented and ready for enjoyment by a new owner, it is complete with a V5C, a buff log-book from 1958, current MOT and Road Licence, as well as other authentication papers, which potential purchasers should consult.