Property of a deceased's estate, 1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1837 Engine no. BS/X/4497

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Lot 547
Property of a deceased's estate, 1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80
Registration no. DYX 442 Frame no. M8/1837 Engine no. BS/X/4497

Sold for £ 73,600 (US$ 97,146) inc. premium
Property of a deceased's estate
1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80
Registration no. DYX 442
Frame no. M8/1837
Engine no. BS/X/4497
• Matching frame, engine, gearbox and registration numbers.
• Present ownership since 2000
• Restored by Dave Clark
• 36 miles on the odometer (believed since the rebuild)

While equalling a Rolls-Royce for quality of construction and finish, in spirit the Brough Superior was more akin to the sporting Bentley. Not an unwieldy beast intended primarily for sidecar duties like the majority of its v-twin-engined contemporaries, the Brough Superior was, in its maker's own words, 'a type of machine designed from the experienced solo rider's point of view.' To prove the point, Brough lost no time in demonstrating his machine's capabilities in the most attention-grabbing way possible: by racing at Brooklands. Introduced in 1922, the JAP-powered SS80 (so-called because of its guaranteed 80mph top speed in road trim) achieved instant fame when a stripped-for-racing version (nicknamed 'Spit and Polish') ridden by George became the first sidevalve-engined machine to lap the Surrey track at over 100mph. Even more surprising was the fact that this landmark figure had been achieved on its maker's Brooklands debut. That particular Brough Superior SS80 - subsequently re-christened 'Old Bill' - went on to win 51 out of 52 races contested, only failing in the last when a tyre burst.

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. 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. The SS80 continued to use the AMC engine until production ceased in 1939.

One of 460 Matchless-engined SS80s built, of which some 300-or-so survive, this matching-numbers example was built to Standard specification and dispatched to Godfreys Ltd on 18th June 1937. It was supplied with, among other items, foot gear control, separate oil tank, Cranford mudguards, Amal touring bars, and the small curved-top panniers. The late owner purchased the Brough, evidently in need of restoration, at a UK auction in March 2000 and immediately commissioned renowned marque specialist Dave Clark to carry out a thorough rebuild (details on file). The solitary MoT certificate on file was issued in April 2001 (at 35 miles), which may be the approximate date the restoration was completed. The current odometer reading is 36 miles, which is quite likely the distance covered since the rebuild. Additional paperwork includes the March 2000 auction catalogue; old/current V5/V5C documents; and copies of the machine's Works Record Card. Unused for several years, the Brough will require re-commissioning or possibly more extensive renovation before returning to the road and thus is sold strictly as viewed.

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

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Contacts
Property of a deceased's estate, 1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1837 Engine no. BS/X/4497
Property of a deceased's estate, 1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1837 Engine no. BS/X/4497
Property of a deceased's estate, 1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1837 Engine no. BS/X/4497
Property of a deceased's estate, 1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1837 Engine no. BS/X/4497
Property of a deceased's estate, 1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1837 Engine no. BS/X/4497
Property of a deceased's estate, 1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1837 Engine no. BS/X/4497
Property of a deceased's estate, 1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1837 Engine no. BS/X/4497
Property of a deceased's estate, 1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1837 Engine no. BS/X/4497
Property of a deceased's estate, 1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1837 Engine no. BS/X/4497
Property of a deceased's estate, 1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1837 Engine no. BS/X/4497
Property of a deceased's estate, 1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1837 Engine no. BS/X/4497
Property of a deceased's estate, 1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1837 Engine no. BS/X/4497
Property of a deceased's estate, 1937 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Frame no. M8/1837 Engine no. BS/X/4497
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Memorabilia and Spares
For Memorabilia and Spares (Lots 1-123) the Buyer's Premium is 27.5% on the first £10,000 of the hammer price 25% on the excess of £10,001 and up to £450,000 of the hammer price 20% on the excess of £450,001 and up to £4,500,000 of the hammer price 14.5% on the excess of £4,500,001.

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