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The Spring Sale / Ex-Reg Barton, Dick Knight, 1929 Brough Superior 996cc SS100 'Alpine Grand Sport' Sprint Special Frame no. S1000 (see text) Engine no. JTOR/D 13560

Lot 547
Ex-Reg Barton, Dick Knight, 1929 Brough Superior 996cc SS100 'Alpine Grand Sport' Sprint Special
Registration no. EY 3601 Frame no. S1000 (see text) Engine no. JTOR/D 13560
Amended
23 April 2022, 10:00 BST
Stafford, Staffordshire County Showground

Sold for £253,000 inc. premium

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Ex-Reg Barton, Dick Knight
1929 Brough Superior 996cc SS100 'Alpine Grand Sport' Sprint Special
Registration no. EY 3601
Frame no. S1000 (see text)
Engine no. JTOR/D 13560

• Ex-Eric Fernihough Brooklands engine
• Sprinted, raced and hill-climbed by Messrs Barton and Knight
• Purchased by its late owner in 1979
• Offered for sympathetic restoration


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 redesign the latter. The result was the legendary SS100. First shown to the public in 1924, the SS100 employed an entirely new overhead-valve 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.

With this level of performance available in road trim, it was only to be expected that the SS100 would make an impact on the race track, particularly the ultra-fast Brooklands oval, and the exploits of Brough Superior riders - among them Le Vack, Temple, Baragwanath, Fernihough and Pope - did much to burnish the marque's image. When Brooklands closed forever at the outbreak of WW2, Noel Pope's Brough Superior held both the sidecar and solo lap records, the latter at an average speed of 124.51mph.

Success in an altogether different branch of motorcycle sport resulted in one of Brough's most iconic models: the SS100 'Alpine Grand Sports' or 'AGS'. Introduced in September 1925 for the 1926 season, this new machine took its name from the Austrian Alpine Trial, the 1925 event having been contested by a number of SS100s, one ridden by George Brough himself, resulting in the award of six cups, including one for 'Best Performance'. The introduction of the Alpine Grand Sports coincided with that of a new frame for the SS100, and the AGS came as standard with a lower compression ratio (making it more suitable for touring), a small fly-screen and a pair of tool boxes.

Brough entered the 1930s with an entirely JAP-powered range and then in 1936 the SS100 was redesigned with an engine built by Associated Motor Cycles, in which form it continued until production ceased in 1939. Lighter and faster than the subsequent Matchless-engined version, the JAP-powered SS100 has long been regarded as the ultimate incarnation of this famous model.

This particular SS100 - frame number 'S1000' - was despatched on 1st May 1929 complete with the spring frame, Castle forks and a two-seater sidecar, as recorded on the accompanying copy of its Works Record Card. The machine was supplied to R Evans & Sons and registered on Anglesey as 'EY 3601'. Frame number 'S1000' is a very clear factory stamping but the final two 00s appear to be over-stamped, possibly reflecting the fact that the frame had been returned to the factory and then reissued. Although the frame number is recorded in the HPI database as 'S1060', this is clearly a clerical error resulting from a misreading of the old RF.60 continuation logbook. Issued in July 1956, the logbook records regular licensing in Kent up to March 1959.

The first name in the RF.60 is that of Reginald Barton of Farnborough, Kent, who registered the Brough on 22nd July 1952. Well-known motorcycling journalist John Griffith wrote an article about Reg Barton and his Broughs for Motor Cycling's 30th January 1958 edition (copy on file). There is also an old V5 on file. (The registration 'EY 3601' is recorded in the DVLA and HPI databases; nevertheless, prospective purchasers must satisfy themselves with regard to this motorcycle's registration status prior to bidding.)

The next owner listed in the RF.60 is Richard ('Dick') Knight, the well-known Brough Superior exponent and former Club President, who acquired 'EY 3601' in September 1975 and is believed to have rebuilt the machine in its present form. Engine 'JTOR/D 43560' is not ex-Brough but would have been manufactured in 1934 (finished Broughs with near numbers were ex-works in January I935). The engine is stamped 'Supplied by Fernihough Brooklands'. An old report in the Brough Club files states that the remains of the original engine ('33390') may have been with Dick Knight in the 1960s. The SS100 still has its original gearbox ('SB 192'), its original tank ('2027', detached) and its original Brough front numberplate.

Modified by Dick Knight, 'EY 3601' was raced and sprinted extensively but with a 1930 SS100 engine (since reunited with its original frame) installed, and once achieved a speed of 122mph in a British National Sprint. An article about Dick Knight and his Brough Superiors was published in Superbike magazine's April 1979 edition (copy on file).

The Brough later passed to Dick's son William and then, via dealer John Coleman, to the late Richard Gulvin in May 1979 (sales receipt on file). 'EY 3601' was in running order when acquired and Richard rode it in various Brough Superior Club events. In a letter on file, Richard Gulvin states that the engine came fitted with a set of Dick Knight's racing 'Brooklands' cams, reiterating: "The engine is definitely a Fernihough Brooklands racing engine as prepared by Mr Dick Knight."
It is to be hoped that the fortunate next owner resists the temptation to restore 'EY 3601' to factory specification, as this wonderful old warhorse, which has been used competitively for most of its life, deserves to have its battle scars respected and preserved.
Offered without key

Footnotes

All lots are sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding

Saleroom notices

This lot is also offered with an oil tank. The engine number is JTOR/D 43560/*.

Additional information