Meticulously restored concours award winner,1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1604 Engine no. BS/X4 4328

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 148
Meticulously restored concours award winner,1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80
Frame no. M8/1604 Engine no. BS/X4 4328

Sold for US$ 115,000 inc. premium
Meticulously restored concours award winner
1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80
Frame no. M8/1604
Engine no. BS/X4 4328
• Total mileage from new under 22,000
• Includes detailed notes dating to 1950's
• Award winner at 2003 Newport Concours d'Elegance

The great T.E. Lawrence, British hero of the 1916 Arab Revolt, once wrote about motorcycles, "A skittish motorbike with a touch of blood in it is better than all the riding animals on Earth, because of its logical extension of our faculties, and the hint, the provocation, to excess conferred by its honeyed untiring smoothness." Owner of eight Brough Superiors in his lifetime, with a ninth on order at the time of his death, there is little doubt as to which brand of machine Lawrence of Arabia was referring.

George Brough of Nottingham, England, was nothing if not proud of his two-wheeled creations. He wanted customers and competitors alike to know just how good his motorcycles were so he unabashedly called them Brough Superiors. Although frequently described as "The Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles," in reality his sporting machines had more in common with racier Bentleys. Nor was sidecar-toting a priority, contemporary brochures referring to the Brough as the "type of machine designed from the experienced solo rider's point of view." The SS80 was introduced in 1922, powered by a J.A.P. 990cc V-twin, and guaranteed to crack 80mph in road trim.

Notoriety came quickly for the SS80 when George Brough himself climbed aboard "Spit and Polish," a tuned, stripped-down version, to circulate the famed Brooklands speed bowl at over 100mph, the first time a sidevalve-engined machine had achieved such velocities.

The 1930s saw the marque well established with a healthy order book, led by the flagship SS100 boasting a 100mph top speed and celebrity ownership by the likes of Lawrence. In 1935 the SS80 was relaunched with a 982cc sidevalve V-twin from AMC for power. The engine was broadly similar to that used by Matchless but with a "knife-and-fork" big-end bearing arrangement preferred by Brough to the side-by-side connecting rods of the Matchless. The AMC engine saw the SS80 through to 1939 when Brough production was curtailed by hostilities.

Writing for the RealClassic website, journalist Dave Minton reckoned it was the SS80's reliability, not sheer speed, that really set it apart from its peers, a trait fiercely stipulated by its maker. "They were reliable because George Brough himself insisted upon the very highest standards of what we now term 'build quality' from his engine suppliers," wrote Minton. "The motors were manufactured to hand-selected component assembly standards, rather than the normal first-come-first-fitted method. Meticulous attention was paid to engine balance, crankshaft assembly, valve timing, porting, pistons and bores, carburetion and ignition – 'blueprinting,' we would call it."

Minton had the chance to ride a well-kept SS80 and came away suitably impressed. "The SS80 felt sharp, quick and alert; a sporting machine and not much of a cruiser," he wrote. "Acceleration was rapid, probably a reflection of the race-bred, well-spaced, four-speed, foot-change gear cluster."

As detailed in the extensive records that accompany this 1936 SS80, it was once owned by Terry Crowley, an original member of the Brough Superior Club. We're told it is also mentioned in the book Legends in Their Lifetime: George Brough & Lawrence of Arabia by Titch Allen, well-respected historian and founding member of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club. The owner previous to the current vendor undertook a complete restoration by a Brough specialist in the UK. By 2001 when purchased by the vendor, the SS80 was not quite up to his exacting standards so a partial stripdown was ordered and over the next two years the bike was elevated to true concours standards. Among the work completed was fitment of the correct leather-faced tool boxes, installation of an authentic wiring loom, new cylinder head gaskets and a refinished primary chaincase. A truly striking machine, the redone Brough took the Best 1930s Motorcycle award at the prestigious Newport Concours d'Elegance in 2003. Mileage since the restoration is approximately 1000.

Accompanying the sale of the SS80 will be detailed notes and photos from Terry Crowley's 1950s ownership, a copy of the bike's original works card giving specifications when built, the last UK owner's registration, plus restoration receipts, various correspondence and copies of factory literature.

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

  • Please note, the title is in transit.
Contacts
Meticulously restored concours award winner,1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1604 Engine no. BS/X4 4328
Meticulously restored concours award winner,1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1604 Engine no. BS/X4 4328
Meticulously restored concours award winner,1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1604 Engine no. BS/X4 4328
Meticulously restored concours award winner,1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1604 Engine no. BS/X4 4328
Meticulously restored concours award winner,1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1604 Engine no. BS/X4 4328
Meticulously restored concours award winner,1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1604 Engine no. BS/X4 4328
Meticulously restored concours award winner,1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1604 Engine no. BS/X4 4328
Meticulously restored concours award winner,1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1604 Engine no. BS/X4 4328
Meticulously restored concours award winner,1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1604 Engine no. BS/X4 4328
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

PLEASE NOTE: THE BUYER'S PREMIUM FOR THIS AUCTION IS AS FOLLOWS:

For MOTOR VEHICLE property the premium is 15% on the first $100,000 of the bid price and 10% on any amount of the hammer price exceeding $100,000. Buyers are required to pay any applicable import duty, sales or use tax, as the case may be.
For MEMORABILIA property the premium is 25% on the first $250,000 of the hammer price, 20% from $250,001-$4,000,000 then 12.5% on the excess over $4,000,001 of the Hammer Price.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, or (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact: [email protected].

Special Car Dealer Notices

Dealers license, number 01-02393-18

App