'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094

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Lot 216
1939 Brough Superior SS100
Registration no. GWB 985 Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094

Sold for £ 253,000 (US$ 315,489) inc. premium
Old Stormalong
1939 Brough Superior SS100
Registration no. GWB 985
Chassis no. M1/2161
Engine no. BS/X21094

Footnotes

  • Legendary superbike of motorcycling's between-the-wars 'Golden Age', this Brough Superior SS100, registration 'GWB 985', is one of seven supplied new as motorcycle combinations to the Sheffield Police on 6th September 1939. Following 'demobilisation' from the police force, the Brough combination passed through various hands as family transport. The date stamp for the first recorded owner in the accompanying continuation logbook is 23rd October 1947. Four owners are recorded before the immediately preceding owner, Bill Starling, the last of these being the well-known motorcycling journalist and author, John Griffith.

    Mr Starling purchased 'GWB 985' in December 1972 from Ronald H Clark, author of Brough Superior - the Rolls Royce of Motor Cycles (his name does not appear in the logbook and it seems he used the SS100 with the numberplates of his SS80 attached). Ronald Clark's motorcycling memories were published in the VMCC Journal for April 1979. He recalls buying the Brough from John Griffith, and a subsequent journey from his home in Norfolk to Inverness. This SS100 is also mentioned in the Super Profile book of the Brough Superior SS100 by Colin Simms. An interview with Ronald is published under the heading Owner's View, in which he records that 'GWB 985' went to a great friend (Bill Starling).

    'Old Stormalong' took part in the Brough Club's 50th Anniversary Rally and appears in the book of the rally as one of the very few machines pictured in action rather than static on the rally field. 'GWB 985 is also pictured in The Classic Motor Cycle's August 2008 edition during the VMCC's Round Norfolk Run, and in the VMCC Journal for January 2011, again on a VMCC run. 'Old Stormalong' has featured frequently over the years in the Brough Club's monthly newsletter in Bill Starling's regular column, The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow . Other awards include the best 'MX100' ridden to the 2009 Brough Club Annual Rally, and the Don Morley Trophy for the best 'MX100' at the 2010 Annual Rally.

    The Works Record Card confirms that frame 'M1/2161' and engine 'BS/X2 1094' are original; however, it records the gearbox number as 'IN 27785'. When purchased by Bill Starling, gearbox number 'IN 27801' was installed. This is believed to have come from another machine in the same batch of Sheffield Police SS100s.
    The Works Record Card also confirms that 'outside handlebar controls' were fitted: drum-type twist-grip, lever control for the ignition, and an outside front brake lever (as for the clutch). These are all still in place. The rear numberplate is the genuine, alloy Brough item, while also original are the flared front mudguard and the hinged rear mudguard.

    Chassis number '2.19' in the works' records, the sidecar had been removed before Ronald Clark's ownership but has since been reacquired. It is fitted with a Brough Superior Cruiser body, replacing the original - and less elegant - special police body, and has a BSA front wheel hub with single-sided 8" brake. The vendor re-fitted the sidecar to the Brough with the intention of riding it to Damascus with Ant Cazelet for company – their intent being to retrace the steps of Brough-owning Lawrence of Arabia – only for the ongoing Syrian civil war to scupper the project. Included in the sale and available for collection by the successful purchaser, the 'chair' has been detached from 'Old Stormalong' but comes complete with all fittings and a comprehensive set of photographs (on CD) showing how it is fitted.

    When purchased by Bill Starling, the Brough was working but worn. It had limited use for a few years and was then stored for some time. Eventually, Bill's father re-commissioned the machine and returned it to him early in 1982. Around 2,000 miles were covered between then and June 1985. Some minor work was then required, which the responsibilities of part-time farming and full-time employment did not leave time for.

    'Old Stormalong' went into retirement until, early in 2000, it was delivered to the workshop of expert restorer Charlie Smith of Northampton (now retired) where over the next year it underwent a thorough restoration under the supervision of Howard Wilcox, well known in the Brough Club for his expertise in all marque-related matters.

    As well as a full engine rebuild, the restoration included a new fuel tank supplied by Tim Ball of Superior Engineering, plus a new saddle cover and toolbox fronts; these had been obtained, many years previously, from the late Albert Wallis, long-standing and much respected Brough Club member. A small, modern battery was fitted inside an original battery case, and the carburettor body bored out and re-sleeved, dramatically improving the starting, slow running, and fuel consumption.

    In May 2001, 'Old Stormalong' demonstrated its renewed health and vigour with a run of 123 miles back to Norfolk. Enhancing reliability, a solid-state voltage regulator from A O Services of Watton was fitted in April 2008. A further 9,000-or-so miles had been covered, many of them on Brough Club and VMCC events, by the time the SS100 was sold to the current vendor in 2012. Since then it has been stored in air-conditioned comfort, professionally cared for, and hardly used in the last nine years (the current odometer reading is 11,666 miles).

Saleroom notices

  • Please note the gearbox fitted is unnumbered
Contacts
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
'Old Stormalong', a highly original and matching numbers example,1939 Brough Superior SS100  Chassis no. M1/2161 Engine no. BS/X21094
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