Property of a deceased's estate
1939 Brough Superior 982cc SS100
Registration no. WVS 276
Frame no. M1/2129
Engine no. BS/X2 1013
Despatched new to South America
Restored in the 1990s
10,196 miles since restoration
Legendary superbike of motorcycling's between-the-wars 'Golden Age,' Brough Superior - 'The Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles' - 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.
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 MkI 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. Always the perfectionist, Brough bought only the best available components for his bikes, 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.
Introduced in 1922, the JAP-powered SS80 achieved instant fame when a racing version ridden by George became the first sidevalve-engined machine to lap Brooklands at over 100mph. With the new SS80's performance threatening to put the overhead-valve MkI in the shade, it was decided to completely re-design the latter. The result was the legendary SS100. First shown to the public in 1924, the SS100 employed an entirely new 980cc JAP v-twin engine. A frame of duplex cradle type was devised for the newcomer, which soon after its launch became available with the distinctive, Harley-Davidson-influenced, Castle front fork patented by George Brough and Harold 'Oily' Karslake. And just in case prospective customers had any doubts about the SS100's performance, each machine came with a written guarantee that it had been timed at over 100mph for a quarter of a mile - a staggering achievement at a time when very few road vehicles of any sort were capable of reaching three-figure speeds.
Brough entered the 1930s with an entirely JAP-powered range and then, after a brief absence, the SS80 reappeared in 1935 as the SS80 Special, this time with an engine built by Associated Motor Cycles. The following year the SS100 adopted an overhead-valve version of the AMC power unit, and the two models continued to use the Plumstead-made engines until production ceased in 1939.
Brough Superior Club records show that this particular SS100, frame number 'M1/2129', was one of a batch of 26 supplied new to South America via forwarding agents Agar, Cross & Co, many of which were destined for use in Argentina by the Buenos Aires Police. In more recent times, the frame and engine ('BS/X2 1013', originally in frame 'M1/1725') formed part of a quantity of Brough components purchased in Argentina by a German businessman, from whom they were acquired in August 1990 by the late owner. The latter was an accomplished engineer (having served his apprenticeship at De Havilland Aircraft) and set about making, buying, and swapping parts in order to complete the Brough's reconstruction. He had a replica show-model tank made, and installed twin brake drums at the front to improve stopping power. A Karslake stand was fitted for ease of use. Completed in 1994, the Brough looked superb and performed well, winning many concours trophies including the 'Best SS100' award at the Brough Club annual gathering; it is a fitting testament to the late owner's engineering skills, and he was proud to ride and show the machine.
Accompanying documentation consists of Brough Club correspondence, a V5C registration document, and an almost complete run (one missing) of MoT certificates showing the mileage increasing from zero in 1994 to 10,054 in May 2012 when the last one was issued.