Best of the middleweight Broughs
1935 Brough Superior Black Alpine 680
Frame no. 1455
Engine no. GTO/R 43898/S
George Brough of Nottingham, England, was nothing if not proud of his two-wheeled creations. He wanted customers and competitors alike to know just how good his motorcycles were so he unabashedly called them Brough Superiors. Top of the line was the SS100, powered by a 1000cc J.A.P overhead-valve V-Twin and guaranteed to crack 100mph. Best of the Brough middleweights was the Black Alpine 680, also ohv J.A.P.-powered, named after the Austrian speed trials in which Mr. Brough liked to participate and for its all-black paint.
This particular example, from the last year of Black Alpine production, one of 13 ohv 680s built in 1935, is a matching-numbers bike and still wears its original-issue gas tank, oil tank and primary cases. Also as-delivered are the Brampton Monarch girder forks and Miller 7-inch headlight. The bike shows 24,465 miles on its Smiths Chronometric speedometer and has been in the U.S. since 1968.
The motor is a GTO/R model, built to higher-performance specification than the standard 680, and sparked by a bevel-gear-driven magdyno at the right front. Of interest is the desired "through-stud" conversion that more positively fastens the cylinders to the crankcases, the work carried out by none other than former AMA champion Mert Lawwill the star of everyone's favorite moto-movie, On Any Sunday, and as talented a machinist as he was behind a set of handlebars.
Hooked up to the motor is the Norton "doll's head" three-speed gearbox that has been with the bike since new. Brough fans will appreciate the rare and desirable Karslake accessory sidestand, much more convenient to deploy than the stock rear propstand. Custom-built rear fender boxes feature double-hinged oxblood-leather frontpieces.
The current owner advises that the Black Alpine stops exceedingly well "for a Brough," the bikes were never known for their powers of retardation. This one is different thanks to noted vintage-bike expert Sonny Angel, who took great care to match new brake shoes to the drums. The owner also informs us that since the catalog photography was undertaken, the fuel tank has been repainted and now wears the correct pinstriping. Likewise the apparatus for mounting a flyscreen has been removed from the fork, though it and the screen are included in the sale.
- This machine is a 1935 Brough Superior 680 OHV to "Black Alpine" specification. We have received confirmation from the Brough Superior Owners Club that it is a matching frame and engine numbers machine from the last year of 680 production. It is offered for sale today from a long term Brough Superior enthusiast.