1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special
Lot 108
1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special
Sold for £82,140 (US$ 109,740) inc. premium

Lot Details
1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special
1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special
Registration no. CAU 760
Frame no. PS.1608
Engine no. BS/X4 4406


• One of some 300-or-so survivors
• Matching registration, frame, engine, gearbox, and fuel tank numbers
• Ownership history known since 1957
• Restored in the previous ownership
• Present ownership since 2010
• Offered from a private collection

'In producing Brough Superior machines the maker's object is to provide motor cycling of as luxurious a character as possible, which means that comfort is not to be sacrificed for the sake of performance, but both these qualities must be present to the highest possible degree. Behind the production of the new SS80 there is an additional object, and that is to provide a machine completely equipped and possessing all the Brough Superior characteristics but selling at a comparatively low price.' – The Motor Cycle, 1st August 1935.

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. Although broadly similar to that of the Matchless Model X, the 982cc sidevalve v-twin incorporated Brough's preferred 'knife-and-fork' big-end bearing arrangement instead of the side-by-side connecting rods of the Matchless. By now recast in the mould of luxury tourer or sidecar tug, the SS80 continued to use the AMC engine until production ceased in 1939, by which time 460 of that type had been built, of which some 300-or-so survive.

First registered on 6th May 1936 and despatched to Bickell Bros the following day, 'CAU 710' is one of the few highly desirable and much sort after SS80 Brough Superiors equipped with the Bentley & Draper sprung frame usually fitted to the SS100. It remains remarkably original, with matching registration, frame, engine, gearbox, and fuel tank numbers; the painted tank and Druid front fork being the only significant departures from factory specification.

The Brough was completely restored by the previous owner, John Coxon of Runcorn, prior to its acquisition by the current owner on 15th January 2010. There are photographs on file of the engine rebuild. Subsequently the machine covered approximately 200 trouble-free miles, including participation in the 2011 International West Kent Run, before being placed in the owner's private collection. Benefiting from its Bentley & Draper sprung frame, the Brough is reported to be a very easy and pleasant machine to ride.

John Coxon had acquired the Brough in October 1983 from George Dyson of Normanton, its owner since March 1963. Dyson is the last of three owners listed on the accompanying old-style continuation logbook (issued 1958), the others being Fred Carr and W Strong, both in Yorkshire. The history file also contains a copy of the Works Record Card, a copy instruction book, a quantity of expired MoTs, an old-style V5 document, sundry restoration invoices, some photocopied period literature, and a V5C Registration Certificate.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.
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