Proceeds to benefit the Search and Rescue Dog Association, Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Salvation Army, Ex-Edinburgh Police,1931 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Frame no. 1038 Engine no. JTO/H 14361/S

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Lot 296
Proceeds to benefit the Search and Rescue Dog Association, Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Salvation Army, Ex-Edinburgh Police,1931 Brough Superior 981cc SS100
Registration no. SC 9799 Frame no. 1038 Engine no. JTO/H 14361/S

Sold for £ 264,700 (US$ 348,623) inc. premium
Proceeds to benefit the Search and Rescue Dog Association, Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Salvation Army, Ex-Edinburgh Police
1931 Brough Superior 981cc SS100
Registration no. SC 9799
Frame no. 1038
Engine no. JTO/H 14361/S
• First owned and operated by Edinburgh Police
• Matching frame and engine numbers
• Present ownership for over 50 years
• Restored by Dave Clark between 2001 and 2003
• Requires re-commissioning

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 sons continued the family tradition but with an added ingredient - style. The very first Brough Superior Mark I 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 Mark I 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 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 '1038', was one of two supplied new to Edinburgh Police in April 1931; the machine left the factory attached to a 'Large Police Touring Sidecar' and was delivered via Lochrins Garage. Its subsequent history is not known prior to its acquisition by the late owner over 50 years ago. It was jointly owned with a friend, and the pair planned to turn it into a Dick Knight-type sprinter/racer. (Dick Knight was an accomplished engine tuner who had been sprinting his own SS100 in the late 1960s). Then the friend died, and his mother told the late owner to take the Brough away. The restoration that they had planned was started but then stalled.

Finally, some 40 years later, the Brough was despatched to renowned marque specialist, Dave Clark, for restoration, though to original specification rather than as a sprinter. The restoration was carried out between 2001 and 2003, and Dave's detailed description of the works undertaken is on file. We are advised that the Brough was last run approximately seven years ago, following which the Lucas magdyno was partially dismantled: the dynamo, contact breaker cover, and contact breaker assembly being removed for servicing, sadly since lost. The machine will therefore require re-commissioning to a greater or lesser extent, which will have to include sourcing the missing parts. It should also be noted that the gearbox and fuel tank are not original to this machine.

Rare and highly desirable, this magnificent Brough Superior SS100 is offered with a current V5C Registration Certificate and a file of history to include bills, correspondence, the aforementioned restoration records, etc.

£170,000 – 220,000

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.

Saleroom notices

  • On file is a letter from Edinburgh Police to the deceased owner, which reveals that it was owned in December 1954 by one Ronald sands of Bromley, Kent. Apart from that, its subsequent history is not known prior to its acquisition by the late owner over 50 years ago.
Contacts
Proceeds to benefit the Search and Rescue Dog Association, Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Salvation Army, Ex-Edinburgh Police,1931 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Frame no. 1038 Engine no. JTO/H 14361/S
Proceeds to benefit the Search and Rescue Dog Association, Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Salvation Army, Ex-Edinburgh Police,1931 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Frame no. 1038 Engine no. JTO/H 14361/S
Proceeds to benefit the Search and Rescue Dog Association, Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Salvation Army, Ex-Edinburgh Police,1931 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Frame no. 1038 Engine no. JTO/H 14361/S
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