The ex-George Brough, London-Edinburgh Trial, single family ownership since 1961
1939 Brough Superior 990cc SS100
Registration no. FTV 702
Frame no. 2107
Engine no. 1108
Originally attached to a sidecar, 'FTV 702' was first registered by George Brough on 24th May 1939 and only two days later took part in the London-Edinburgh endurance run piloted by George with Motor Cycling journalist Henry Laird in the 'chair'. Laird's article about the event was published in Motor Cycling's edition of 14th June 1939, a copy of which is supplied with the machine.
Perhaps in George Brough's haste he forgot to fill in a 'Record Card' as none can be found. Also of note is the engine number, '1108', which is two digits higher than that of the last Brough out of the factory ('1106') so possibly the motor was selected out of turn. Alternatively, after such arduous use throughout 1939, which included various road tests and the Tour of Ireland as well as the London-Edinburgh, it may have been replaced. In the record card's absence, we will never know. All numbers agree with the registration document. Castle forks replaced the original Monarchs before the machine was sold on.
In April 1945, the Brough was advertised for sale in Motor Cycling for £200 having had £30 spent on a rebuild in 1943. The original logbook no longer exists but a continuation logbook shows that one Frank Whittaker registered the machine on 24th August 1955, followed by John Alldritt on 14th May 1957 and then the vendor's father, Eric Checkley, who bought it for £70 and registered it on 14th August 1961. The Brough was purchased because it was the best British motorcycle one could buy; indeed, its late owner went on to acquire two more SS100s and restore both of them, one of which, registered 'EVM 635', was sold at Bonhams' Stafford sale in April 2010 (Lot 445). Eric Checkley's day job was Machine Shop Superintendent at Alcan, Banbury so he was well qualified for such undertakings.
A solo by this time, 'FTV 702' was a runner and useable when purchased but well short of the perfection demanded by Eric Checkley, whose search for spare parts took him to the Brough works in Haydn Road, Nottingham where he met George Brough. In 1965 'FTV 702' was back on the road, being used as ride-to-work transport and trips farther afield. Shortly after passing his motorcycle test, the vendor borrowed the Brough from his father for a holiday, travelling to Wales, the South Coast and the Isle of Wight.
'FTV 702' was used on the road until 1967 and then placed in storage. Eric Checkley was very busy at the time, not only working at Alcan but also running a 77-acre farm, so had little time for motorcycles. From his retirement in 1980 until his death in 2008, Eric was free to pursue his hobby and all three Broughs (and various other machines) were refurbished yet again. Many new parts were made in stainless steel for 'FTV 702', which he considered was an improvement, and it should be noted that the fuel tank is a copy (original included in the sale) and that the gearbox is not the original, although it is of the correct type.
In 2000 Eric gifted the Brough to his son, who has looked after it ever since. In preparation for sale, the engine has been tested (starts second kick cold, first kick warm), the dynamo refurbished, a new battery fitted and the machine road tested. Accompanying documentation consists of the aforementioned logbook and magazine article; assorted correspondence; a quantity of technical information and SS100-related literature; many early Brough Club newsletters; sundry receipts for parts; Swansea V5 and various photographs of 'FTV 702'. Recent video footage of 'FTV 702' in action is available to view; please contact Bonhams for details.
- The complete Frame number is M1S/2107. The complete Engine number is BS/X2 1108. There are no sundry invoices included with this lot.