1926 Brough Superior 980cc SS80 Frame no. 437 Engine no. KTR/A 35485/Y (see text)
Lot 138Ω
1926 Brough Superior 980cc SS80
Frame no. 437 Engine no. KTR/A 35485/Y (see text)
Sold for US$ 126,875 inc. premium

Lot Details
1926 Brough Superior 980cc SS80 Frame no. 437 Engine no. KTR/A 35485/Y (see text) 1926 Brough Superior 980cc SS80 Frame no. 437 Engine no. KTR/A 35485/Y (see text) 1926 Brough Superior 980cc SS80 Frame no. 437 Engine no. KTR/A 35485/Y (see text)
1926 Brough Superior 980cc SS80
Frame no. 437
Engine no. KTR/A 35485/Y (see text)
• Professionally restored between 2014 and 2016
• Gearbox original to frame
• New fuel tank
• Brough Club concours award winner 2016

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.

Frame number '437' originally belonged to a Brough Superior SS80 Standard model that left the factory on 28th July 1926 bound for R & H Chambers, Rutland. The Brough was registered as 'FP 1773' and is still registered with that number in the UK. 'FP 1773' was registered to the previous owner on 16th August 2010, and between 2014 and 2016 was comprehensively restored by marque specialist, Simon Miles. The original engine having suffered fire damage, another unit was assembled using the original cylinder barrels and heads, together with replacement crankcases that had been re-stamped, albeit not with the original numbers. (The original damaged crankcases, numbered 'KTC/Y 56785', are included in the sale). Given the extensive nature of the rebuild, prospective purchasers should satisfy themselves with regard to the originality and correctness of this motorcycle's components prior to bidding. Accompanying documentation consists of a Copy Works Record Card and UK 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.

Saleroom notices

  • The documentation will follow after the sale.
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