Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1914 Brough 497cc Model H Frame no. 1116 Engine no. 336

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Lot 707
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1914 Brough 497cc Model H
Registration no. L 734 Frame no. 1116 Engine no. 336

Sold for £ 103,500 (US$ 114,260) inc. premium
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection
1914 Brough 497cc Model H
Registration no. L 734
Frame no. 1116
Engine no. 336
• Believed the oldest survivor of its type
• Rediscovered in the mid-1970s and restored
• Acquired by the National Motorcycle Museum circa 1989

Father of the better-known George, engineer William E Brough had already built a light car and a tricycle at his Nottingham workshop before completing his first motorcycle in 1902. Single-cylinder, v-twin and horizontally opposed twin-cylinder engines were used prior to WWI, though only the latter type was used post-war. Brough's first 'flat twin', an overhead-valve 497cc (3½hp) two-speeder, was developed in 1912 and launched in September 1913 as a 1914 model. It occupied the middle of the Brough range, priced at £56 10s compared to the 6hp v-twin at £72 10s and the 3½hp single at £46. Immensely proud of his new creation, William Brough wrote: "The beautiful, sweet running of the new Twin Engine has placed it far ahead of any design at present on the market." Three versions of the Model H were on offer for 1915. Production recommenced post-war, but the Model H was swiftly superseded by the larger (692cc) sidevalve Model G. Faced with increasingly difficult trading conditions, William Brough's company ceased motorcycle production in 1925, leaving his son's Brough Superiors to carry on the family tradition.

Believed the oldest survivor of its type, this rare Brough Model H carries a supplier's plaque from J M Jones, Motor Engineer of Tryal Garage & Motor Works, Cribyn, Llanybyther. First registered in Cardiff, Glamorgan in December 1914, 'L 734' spent the first 60 years of it life in Wales. This motorcycle is one of two W E Broughs found in 1974, the other being a 1915 model. They were discovered by John Greenland who recounts that they were found intact and 100% original, having not been used since the 1920s (letter on file). John Greenland went onto restore 'L 734' over the succeeding decade and sold the Brough to the National Motorcycle Museum circa 1989. The accompanying history file is substantial, and prospective purchasers are urged to take the opportunity to examine it. It contains assorted correspondence; period b/w photographs; and old-style V5C document; a quantity of photocopied in-period magazine articles; and a photocopied manufacturer's brochure.

Very nicely presented, this machine represents an exciting opportunity to acquire one of the rarest flat-tank models of the Vintage era with the added prestige of being one of the 'original' Broughs. The machine's mechanical condition is not known; accordingly, prospective purchasers must satisfy themselves with regard to its condition, completeness, correctness, or otherwise prior to bidding.

Saleroom notices

  • The Pioneer Number of the Brough is 1099. The registration number, L 734, was issued on 18th December 1914. According to information supplied by Mr John Best, he discovered the machine in 1974. Mr Best had recently moved to Llanarth, North Wales, and his neighbour knew an elderly gentleman who had an old, dilapidated barn with motorcycles in it. When he visited the barn, he looked through a crack in the door and could see four machines resting. It was a moment he "will never forget". The bikes had been left there for safe keeping by local men going to war – and, sadly, they had not returned. Mr Best bought all four machines and sold them shortly after to a gentleman in Sussex, presumably Mr John Greenland. It is interesting to note that when the machine was discovered it had not travelled far from the supplier J M Jones in Cribyn (see image on file). Please note, the final paragraph in the printed catalogue relates to lot 709. Please click the link to view the walkaround video of Lot 707: click here
Contacts
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1914 Brough 497cc Model H Frame no. 1116 Engine no. 336
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1914 Brough 497cc Model H Frame no. 1116 Engine no. 336
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1914 Brough 497cc Model H Frame no. 1116 Engine no. 336
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1914 Brough 497cc Model H Frame no. 1116 Engine no. 336
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1914 Brough 497cc Model H Frame no. 1116 Engine no. 336
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1914 Brough 497cc Model H Frame no. 1116 Engine no. 336
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1914 Brough 497cc Model H Frame no. 1116 Engine no. 336
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1914 Brough 497cc Model H Frame no. 1116 Engine no. 336
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1914 Brough 497cc Model H Frame no. 1116 Engine no. 336
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1914 Brough 497cc Model H Frame no. 1116 Engine no. 336
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1914 Brough 497cc Model H Frame no. 1116 Engine no. 336
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1914 Brough 497cc Model H Frame no. 1116 Engine no. 336
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1914 Brough 497cc Model H Frame no. 1116 Engine no. 336
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