The ex-C F Edwards, 1925 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Sand Racer Project Frame no. 300 Engine no. KTOR/A 36776

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Lot 422
The ex-C F Edwards, 1925 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Sand Racer Project
Registration no. Unregistered Frame no. 300 Engine no. KTOR/A 36776

Sold for £ 264,500 (US$ 347,455) inc. premium
The ex-C F Edwards
1925 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Sand Racer Project
Registration no. Unregistered
Frame no. 300
Engine no. KTOR/A 36776
Gearbox no. W55321 (see text)

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.


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, Edwards, 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. Brough had 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.

The machine offered here is the C.F. Edwards SS100 Sand Racer which was despatched from the works on 17th May 1925. It is an example of the original type of SS100 which was built between November 1924 and August 1925. It was superseded by the Alpine Grand Sport SS100 which was introduced in July 1925.

The SS100 Model was launched at the Olympia Show in November 1924 and was described as a replica of the machine used by le Vack during 1924 to break nine world speed records including the world's fastest solo and sidecar records at 119.74mph and 100.33mph respectively. The SS100 was powered by JAP's new 980cc KTOR motor which developed 45bhp, the motorcycle caused a sensation at the show.

The C F Edwards machine was built specifically for sand racing and featured dropped handlebars, narrow un-valanced mudguards and a Binks 'mousetrap' carburettor. A photograph of the machine with Edwards aboard survives and was used in Ronald H. Clark's 'The Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles' (page 29) (shown herein) Edwards was a sidecar specialist; the machine originally being delivered with a Super Sports Montgomery sidecar. He also raced it solo and a spare sprocket and primary chain were supplied by the works to enable the gearing to be swiftly changed between solo and sidecar ratios.

Edwards, a motor agent from Cirencester, was a privateer and prior to acquiring the Brough had successfully competed solo with a 350cc New Imperial. He campaigned the 1925 SS100 in both solo and sidecar events throughout 1925 and 1926 on sand and road. Results included a 3rd place behind Stanley Woods in the Ulster Grand Prix in 1925. A list of some of his results are listed below:

Date Event Class Result
5th Aug 1925 Welsh TT, pendine Sands Unlimited 50 mile sidecar 3rd
5th Sept 1925 Ulster Grand Prix Solo 3rd
3rd July 1926 Southport MCC Annual Summer Sand Racing Event Unlimited General 1 Mile Sidecar 3rd
3rd July 1926 Southport MCC Annual Summer Sand Racing Event Unlimited Novice 1 Mile Sidecar 2nd
3rd July 1926 Southport MCC Annual Summer Sand Racing Event Unlimited 20 Mile Sidecar 2nd
4th Aug 1926 Welsh TT, Pendine Sands Unlimited 50 mile sidecar 2nd
2nd Oct 1926 Southport Motor Club Autumn Meeting Unlimited 1 Mile Sidecar 2nd
2nd Oct 1926 Southport Motor Club Autumn Meeting Unlimited 10 Mile Sidecar 1st

In May 1927 he purchased an example of George Brough's new Pendine racing model with which he had continued success notably winning the 1927 Welsh TT (unlimited sidecar class).
The image of Edwards on the '25 machine was used in the 1928 range catalogue detailing Edwards' 1927 successes.

Little is known of the history of this early SS100 (after Edwards presumable sold it in 1927) until it was acquired by the late vendor in 1951. He had spotted the machine advertised in dismantled condition in Motor Sport magazine in July 1951 for £22.10s. The advert read:

Vintage M.C.
1925 SS100 Brough Dismantled, racing engine, £22.10S
Boyes, 'Silverdale', Blackbrook Lane, Bickley, Kent.


The machine first came to the attention of the BS Club in 1981 when it was identified as C.F. Edwards' first racing SS100. The machine has remained dismantled for the last 63 years whilst in the ownership of the late vendor's family. However, some parts have been restored during this period.

The project comprises of the original frame numbered 300 (the middle '0' partially missing due to a tapped hole for a grease nipple), matching engine numbered KTOR/A 36776, correct Harley-Davidson forks with B&D damper, c.1929 3-speed Sturmey-Archer gearbox (non-Brough) with clutch of the correct type, an original 1925 SS100 tank with oil pump and sight feed (No 1125 possibly unused old stock), Binks 'mousetrap' carburettor with lever controls, finned exhaust coolers plus many other original parts. There is a second believed original Brough tank, heavily altered for racing incorporating front petrol and rear oil compartments but unnumbered and a third tank in pieces (number disc present). Prospective bidders must satisfy themselves as to the completeness, condition and suitability of the parts prior to bidding.

This is the first time that a pre-Alpine Grand Sport type of SS100 has ever been offered at auction. It is a matching numbers example (frame and engine) and has period racing history. Opportunities to acquire such a rare and desirable machine with good provenance do not happen every day!

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.
Contacts
The ex-C F Edwards, 1925 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Sand Racer Project Frame no. 300 Engine no. KTOR/A 36776
The ex-C F Edwards, 1925 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Sand Racer Project Frame no. 300 Engine no. KTOR/A 36776
The ex-C F Edwards, 1925 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Sand Racer Project Frame no. 300 Engine no. KTOR/A 36776
The ex-C F Edwards, 1925 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Sand Racer Project Frame no. 300 Engine no. KTOR/A 36776
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