Lot 351 - 1927 Brough Superior SS100 Pendine *Please contact office for results
|Estimate||£150,000 - £175,000|
George Brough, second son of motorcycle manufacturer William Brough, set up his own company in 1919 and purchased premises in Haydn Road, Nottingham to build machines powered by large capacity V-twin, JAP engines. He was assisted in this venture by friends Iike Webb and Harold Karslake who was to become his Chief Engineer. George Brough's desire to improve on the motorcycles built by his father, William, led him to the name Brough Superior and the legend was born.
The first production Brough Superior , featuring a 986cc overhead valve V-twin JAP engine, Sturmey Archer three-speed gearbox and Enfield Cush Hub, was exhibited at the 1921 Motor Cycle Show at Olympia. In 1923 the SS80 was introduced to the public powered by a side-valve, V-twin JAP engine and H.D. Teague, editor of 'The Motorcycle', referred to the Brough Superior as "The Rolls Royce of Motorcycles" after road testing an SS80. The slogan was adopted by George Brough and used in subsequent advertising.
Competition success was fundamental to the development of the marque and in 1922 George Brough lapped Brooklands at over 100mph on 'Spit and Polish', a prototype for the SS80. Following an accident it was rebuilt and renamed 'Old Bill' and, widely campaigned by George, became one of the most famous racing machines ever. In 1924, highly regarded tuner and racing motorcyclist, Bert Le Vack, developed the Val Page designed overhead valve JAP V-twin and used it in a Brough Superior motorcycle to set a new World Speed Record of 118.98mph at Arpajon in France. At the 1924 Olympia Show, the SS100 was announced to the public for the 1925 season and benefitting from Le Vack's development work, each SS100 was supplied with a written guarantee that it had been timed at 100mph or better over the flying quarter mile, before delivery.
Each SS100 was assembled to meet individual customer requirements using the best components available and rarely were any two exactly the same. In addition to the aforementioned JAP engines, Enfield hubs and Sturmey Archer gearbox, Brough developed Harley Davidson forks and had his own version made by the Castle Fork and Accessory Company. Each motorcycle was assembled twice. The first assembly was for fitting of all components then the motorcycle was disassembled and all parts were painted or plated as needed, then the finished parts were assembled a final time. Every motorcycle was test ridden to ensure that it performed to specification and was personally certified by George Brough.
At the 1925 Motorcycle Show, the Alpine Grand Sport, an SS100 with a full touring specification, was launched as well as the Pendine racing model of which the featured motorcycle is an example. Further speed records were set with George Brough being timed at 130.6mph in 1928 at Arpajon; unofficially the world's fastest speed on a solo motorcycle and Bert Le Vack taking the official motorcycle World Speed Record at 126.75mph in 1929.
This 1927 SS100 Pendine is believed to have started life as a works racer before being sold by the Works to noted sand racing exponent Norman Buckley of King George Avenue, Blackpool on 1st January 1929 and registered FR9745 on the 8th January, 1929. The invoice from George Brough shows the frame number R100 ('R' standing for rigid, as opposed to spring, frame) which is out of sequence with Brough Superior numbering therefore strongly suggesting it was a works 'special'. The engine JTOR/*81990/SD is a very early example of the JTOR racing engine and dates from 1927 although, unusually, has no year number stamped on it -further evidence of its works racing history. Buckley (who later achieved note for setting speed boat records with his series of Jaguar XK powered craft named Miss Windermere, for which he was awarded the MBE) competed extensively from 1929 until the end of 1931 with the Brough both as a solo and with a sidecar in sand races in the North of England achieving considerable success as evinced in the history file that comes with the bike. Buckley is thought to have sold the Brough in the early 1930s and in 1935 it was known to have been used on the road. It is thought that the Brough was dismantled by 1952 as from 1953 the registration FR9745 was being used incorrectly on another machine in South West London. The trail then goes cold until Buckley's Brough was owned, in the 1970s, by Alex Forty from whom the vendor acquired it in 1978; dismantled and without a frame. The JAP JTOR engine was subsequently fitted into a Norton CS1 frame and used successfully in sprint events until the vendor decided to reassemble the Brough after evidence of its special history started to emerge. A full restoration by world renowned marque expert Tony Cripps was undertaken in 2011 with an exact replica of the missing frame being commissioned, using the correct materials and manufactured by Steve Raffills in New Zealand. The new frame was then numbered 3520 from a sequence issued by the Brough Superior Owners Club.
The Pendine features the correct Castle forks, Sturmey Archer three-speed gearbox and Enfield hubs, with eight inch front brake, for an SS100. In addition the Pendine is fitted with a racing copper plated one and a half gallon fuel tank known to have come from an ex-Le Vack Brough Superior raced at Brooklands; a copper plated Brough Superior oil tank with quick action filler; Amac TT25 twin float carburettor (as per the Works Record Card); twin BTH magnetos; Terry's saddle; a special Binks twist grip specified by Buckley and a special handlebar clamp enabling different shapes of handlebar to be easily substituted (understood to be a works racing feature) and a host of minor parts which came from the motorcycle supplied originally to Buckley. Since completion, the Brough has been used at Kop Hill Climb and the Brough Superior Owners Club Annual Rally but otherwise has been rarely seen in public. A certification from the Registrar of the Brough Superior Owners Club comes with the bike together with a history file containing extensive correspondence between George Brough and first owner Norman Buckley.
Rarely do Brough Superior SS100s come onto the market and the Pendine racing model is rarer still. This is, therefore, a golden opportunity to acquire an example of what has become the Holy Grail of vintage motorcycles.
Previous lotLot 350 - 1966 Velocette Thruxton (500cc)
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.