1938 Brough Superior SS100

Date 07.7.2016

Presented by
  • Motorcycle Trader

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William Brough commenced manufacture of motorcycles in 1908. Naturally he named his company Brough and started with singles and V-twins, but soon came to concentrate on flat-twins. The bikes were first fitted with Bradshaw engines, but Brough soon developed his own range of horizontally opposed units with capacities from 496cc to 810cc.

His son George was not impressed with the flat-twin, however. In 1921 he left the family business to start his own motorcycle factory to produce luxurious V-twins. To differentiate from his father’s production, he named his brand the Brough Superior.

The SS100 is one of his most famous models. It was introduced in 1924 with a new 980cc JAP V-twin, a duplex cradle frame and Castle-patented fork. Each motorcycle came with the famed guarantee that it had been timed at 100mph over a quarter mile.

George Brough sourced the best quality components to use in his production. The specifications changed regularly and no two SS100s are identical.

Optional rear-spring frame suspension was available (at added cost) from 1928, the foot gear change was introduced in 1935 and so was a four-speed Norton gearbox a year later. The SS100 was manufactured until 1940, with fewer than 400 examples produced.

Much of this lot’s history is known and Mr C. R. Hussey purchased it new in 1938. The record suggests it was lent to motorcycle journalist Henry Laird as a demonstrator. This is possible as Laird was the sidecar passenger when George Brough competed in the London-Edinburgh endurance event of 1939 in an SS100. A strange detail is that this bike’s engine was at one time in a Morgan three-wheeler but was later reunited with its original frame.

Last year all cycle parts were restored and the paperwork for these works were included in the sale.

Sold at the Spring Stafford Sale, Staffordshire County Showground, UK.

Price:  AU$421,020

From: Bonhams