1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S

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Lot 174
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project
Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S

US$ 60,000 - 80,000
£ 46,000 - 61,000
To be sold without reserve
Amended
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project
Frame no. H18 (see text)
Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
• Believed to be a matching numbers Brough 680
• A rare, near-complete Brough project
• One of the nicest riding Broughs of them all

The Brough Superior has been justly compared to both Bugatti and Rolls-Royce based on looks, performance and desirability, resulting with the Nottingham make building a comparable reputation almost since its inception. George Brough succeeded his father, William Brough, as a motorcycle maker, although very different considering George's 'Brufsup' was always renowned as a sporting make, without a doubt due to the fearless competition riding of George himself.

Launched in 1919, the first model of the new make, the Mark 1, was exhibited and became the DNA of all models up to 1939. With the powerful V-twin under a saddle tank, it had a trademark appearance which changed little throughout the years. Brough's association with the famous T.E. Lawrence, and the quality and price of the make, led to a succession of publicity-worthy models and events that fueled a legend which remains potent today.

As the new model for the 1927 season, the Overhead (valve) 680 sported the 70mm x 88mm JAP engine, a re-engineering of the engine-maker's existing side-valve, effectively a smaller SS100. At 100 Guineas, it was a lighter and leaner version of Brough's fastest and was welcomed by enthusiastic riders who wanted a Brough with easy 80mph performance, but without the size and weight. Listed at £110, the saving of £60 over the SS100 was an added bonus. The pushrods were enclosed for 1928 and the 680 was catalogued until 1935.

The Brough Superior Club Machine Registrar has confirmed that this 1929 Overhead 680 is a matching-numbers (frame, engine, gearbox) standard Bentley & Draper (B&D) sprung frame, Castle fork, dual headlamp (first installed on 1929 models) example whose original English registration number was TO 9297. ('TO' is a Nottingham registration, the home city of George Brough's factory.)

The frame number on the steering head, which should be H848, has only three of the four digits visible. Visible today under the paint is 'H18' with the other number (the first '8') polished out together with the left side of the '4' leaving only the vertical line, thus making it more of a '1' than a '4', left. The stamped number '848' is visible on both the rear suspension spring perches and the underside of the 'swing arm,' however. The bike's new Minnesota title records the frame number as H18.
It has a very full history in the UK known to the Brough Club including its use in the tough 1931 Exeter Trial (as an outfit for it was originally supplied with a sprung chair). This Brough was bought from the late Robert 'Bob' McClean of Blue Grass, Iowa - long time president (1983 to 2002) of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America which he had joined in 1970 - on February 14, 1999. Reportedly, it came over from the UK in 1977 complete but in a very sorry state. Its first or second US owner had the bike seriously restored in the US to the extent that the tank was sent to the UK, etc. for repair. The original tank was stamped H2059; the tank with the bike is stamped H2155 and so is a replacement, the original never coming back from restoration.

It had been a display bike for McClean who was perhaps its third US owner. Although it had not been ridden for years the seller was out riding it in 2001 when It suffered from an 'unfortunate event.' The front cylinder blew off the crankcase! Both head and barrel suffered from the resulting impact with the highway, and worse. Both were soon run over by a following Chevrolet Camaro! The pieces, including some of the shattered fins, were collected and needless to say, the bike was then sadly parked inside the seller's garage - until now. The engine, in pieces, is supplied with the bike together with its ancillaries. It is thought that the engine is mostly complete however the seller does not guarantee that it is and thus any prospective buyer should satisfy themselves as to its status.

Suffice to say this Overhead 680 is a rare find indeed – a 'beautiful' project with only few gaps in its provenance.

Footnotes

  • Offered on a Bill of Sale. 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 factory stamped frame number, '848', is visible in two places in addition to the steering head: On the left, underside of the swing arm tube close to the pivot and on the left side, rear spring perch.
Contacts
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
1929 Brough Superior 680 OHV Project Frame no. H18 (see text) Engine no. GTOY/S 40676/S
Auction information

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.

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Buyers' Premium and Charges

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

For MOTORCYCLE property (Lots 101-211) 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 (Lots 1-16) the premium is 27.5% on the first $3,000 of the bid price, 25% on the amount above $3,000 up to and including $400,000, 20% on the amount above $400,000 up to and including $4,000,000, and 13.9% of any amount which exceeds $4,000,000.

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