1931 Brough Superior Overhead 680 Black Alpine Project Frame no. H1058 Engine no. GTOY/S 47402/S (see text)

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Lot 202* N
1931 Brough Superior Overhead 680 Black Alpine Project
Registration no. HC 6124 Frame no. H1058 Engine no. GTOY/S 47402/S (see text)

Sold for £ 55,200 (US$ 73,188) inc. premium
1931 Brough Superior Overhead 680 Black Alpine Project
Registration no. HC 6124
Frame no. H1058
Engine no. GTOY/S 47402/S (see text)
• More manageable smaller Brough model
• Originally a motorcycle combination
• Offered for restoration

Quite what George Brough's father - Nottingham-based motorcycle manufacturer William Edward Brough - thought when his younger son cheekily added the word 'Superior' to the family name when founding his rival marque can only be imagined, but it's thanks to this act of youthful bravado that we have one of the greatest and most-evocative names in motorcycling. 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. J A Prestwich of London and Motosacoche of Geneva supplied v-twin engines for the MkI and MkII Brough Superiors respectively, though within a few years all models would be JAP-powered. Gearboxes were sourced from Sturmey-Archer and (initially) forks from Montgomery, while frame and accessory manufacture was contracted out to specialists in the British motorcycle industry's Midlands heartland.

With the SS80 and SS100 well established by the mid-1920s, it was decided to add a smaller and cheaper alternative to these two 1-litre models to the range. JAP was already producing a 674cc sidevalve v-twin engine and this unit, redesigned to accommodate overhead valves, went into Brough's new 'Overhead 680'. First shown to the public at the Olympia Motorcycle Show in 1926, the 'Miniature SS100', as George Brough called it, entered production for 1927. The new middleweight Brough was an instant success and for the 1930 season was joined by a version to higher specification. First seen at the 1929 Motorcycle Show, the newcomer was dubbed 'Black Alpine 680', a reference to the lavishly equipped SS100 Alpine Grand Sports and the fact that the newcomer boasted a distinctive all-black eggshell finish. Principal mechanical difference from the standard Overhead 680 was the adoption of the patented Draper sprung frame.
Its copy Works Record Card reveals that frame number 'H1058' originally formed part of an Overhead 680 Black Alpine motorcycle combination that left the factory on 24th March 1931 and was resold in November 1933 to one D V Thomas. It is noted that the fuel tank was plated, enameled and lined at this time. Its engine, number 'GTOY/S 47402/S', originally formed part of a rigid-framed Overhead 680, frame number 'J877', dispatched from the factory on 24th April 1929 and supplied to Messrs Tozer, Kemsley and Millbourne. It should be noted that the semi-assembled engine shown (on the stand) has the crankcases from a 750cc sidevalve motor, number 'TS/W/79909/2', but no internals. The damaged GTOY cases are shown separately.

The copy of an old-style V5 registration document on file reveals that the Brough was registered to one Brian Hawkes of Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire on 1st February 1984. The machine must have been dismantled soon afterwards, as it was only the frame that Gary Ross bought from Dr Hugh Palmer of Edith Weston, Leicestershire later that same year (shipping invoice on file).

Footnotes

  • Please note this lot is subject to 5% import tax.
Contacts
1931 Brough Superior Overhead 680 Black Alpine Project Frame no. H1058 Engine no. GTOY/S 47402/S (see text)
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