The Earls Court Motorcycle Show,1937 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp Frame no. M8/1882 Engine no. LTZ/O/57634/S
Lot 293
The Earls Court Motorcycle Show,1937 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp
Registration no. ARV 642 Frame no. M8/1882 Engine no. LTZ/O/57634/S
Sold for £147,100 (US$ 197,343) inc. premium

Lot Details
The Earls Court Motorcycle Show,1937 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp Frame no. M8/1882 Engine no. LTZ/O/57634/S The Earls Court Motorcycle Show,1937 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp Frame no. M8/1882 Engine no. LTZ/O/57634/S The Earls Court Motorcycle Show,1937 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp Frame no. M8/1882 Engine no. LTZ/O/57634/S The Earls Court Motorcycle Show,1937 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp Frame no. M8/1882 Engine no. LTZ/O/57634/S The Earls Court Motorcycle Show,1937 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp Frame no. M8/1882 Engine no. LTZ/O/57634/S The Earls Court Motorcycle Show,1937 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp Frame no. M8/1882 Engine no. LTZ/O/57634/S
The Earls Court Motorcycle Show
1937 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp
Registration no. ARV 642
Frame no. M8/1882
Engine no. LTZ/O/57634/S
Legendary superbike of motorcycling's between-the-wars 'Golden Age', the Brough Superior was synonymous with high performance, engineering excellence and quality of finish. That such a formidable reputation was forged by a motorcycle constructed almost entirely from bought-in components says much for the publicity skills of George Brough. But if ever a machine was more than the sum of its parts, it was the Brough Superior. Always the perfectionist, Brough bought only the best available components for his motorcycles, reasoning that if the product was right, a lofty price tag would be no handicap. And in the 'Roaring Twenties' there were sufficient wealthy connoisseurs around to prove him right, T E Lawrence ('Lawrence of Arabia') being the most famous example.

The speed with which the name 'Brough Superior' established itself as synonymous with excellence may be gauged from the fact that the famous 'Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles' sobriquet was first coined in 1921 when the marque was barely two years old. The story goes that Rolls-Royce objected to their name being associated with a mere motorcycle - until they examined one of George's creations.

Launched in 1933, the 1,096cc 11-50 was the largest Brough Superior to enter series production. Powered by a sidevalve v-twin (of unusual 60-degree configuration) supplied exclusively to the Nottingham factory by J A Prestwich, the 11-50 fitted into the Brough price range between the SS80 touring and SS100 super-sports models. The 11-50 was conceived as a long-legged, effortless tourer and could exceed 90mph in solo form or pull a heavy sidecar at up to 75mph; indeed, in the latter role it was one of the finest sidecar mounts of its day. Production lasted until 1939, by which time the 11-50 was the only JAP-powered machine in the Brough Superior range.

Displayed on the Brough Superior stand at the Motorcycle Show in September 1937, alongside the firm's sensational transverse v-twin prototype, this particular 11-50 is unusual in retaining matching frame, engine, gearbox and fuel tank numbers. The accompanying extract from the factory records shows that the machine was prepared to 'show finish' and fitted with aluminium '11-50' numberplates. A sprung frame model, it also came equipped with a separate oil tank, foot gear control, small pannier bags ('show type'), Cranford hinged rear mudguard, top and bottom rear chain cases, rear footrests, and Amal touring handlebars complete with dual integral twist grips. Its display duties over, the machine was despatched new to E W Bennett & Co Ltd and registered 'ARV 642' (a Portsmouth mark) on 1st January 1938. An old-style buff continuation logbook on file records the owner, from July 1953, as a Mr William Forbes of London SE25. The Brough was fitted with a sidecar at that time and there are various charming period photographs of 'ARV 642' and the Forbes family on file. Its recently deceased owner acquired the Brough in 1971 and spent the next 16 years restoring it. Last taxed for the road in 2001, the machine will require re-commissioning before returning to the road after some 13 years in dry storage.
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