1936 Brough Superior SS80

Highlights


• Very nice original condition
• Low mileage & matching numbers
• Fully road legal
• Historic vehicle with original registration number

BACKGROUND


George Brough in Nottingham established the Brough Superior in 1924. His vision and plan was to offer a bespoke motorcycle to well-heeled and very discerning customers using only the very finest components available.

Each bike was literally fitted to the riders’ size, weight, needs and preferences and the bikes were marketed as “The Rolls Royce of Motorcycles”, even persuading Rolls Royce to allow him to do so.

Like a Rolls Royce, everything about the Brough Superior was of the finest quality and, assembled by hand with meticulous attention to detail, it allowed Brough to guarantee his ‘SS100” motorcycles were capable of at least 100mph, scary stuff in the 1930’s.

The ‘SS’ stands for ‘Super Sports’ and the SS80 was George Brough’s earliest design being guaranteed to do at least 80mph, and it was priced at a level well beyond the means of mere motorcyclists. Production was always low and only 1,086 SS80s were ever made between the years of 1924 and 1939.

Early SS80s had the 998cc JAP V-twin engine with those made after 1935 with the 982cc Matchless V-twin.

The Brough Superior was synonymous with high performance, engineering excellence and quality of finish. That a motorcycle constructed almost entirely from bought-in components forged such a formidable reputation says much for the publicity skills of George Brough. But if ever a machine was more than the sum of its parts, it was the Brough Superior.

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HISTORY


This SS80 was originally supplied to a Mr. R S Moorhouse in May 1936. It featured a rigid frame, a chrome plated and enamelled fuel tank with twin caps, integral oil pump, and Lycett Super Aero seat.

Further specification included a foot operated gear lever, small curved top panniers, a Cranford hinged rear mudguard, Amal touring handlebars and fittings with right and left hand internal twistgrips, a left hand side brake pedal and top & bottom rear chain covers.

After a few UK owners it found its way to a private owner in the isle of Man in 1979 where, after one more change of ownership, it was finally bought and returned and registered again in the UK by the current owner in 2005 where he set about some light restoration work.

In consultation and association with Brough specialist Tim Walker of Huddersfield the engine was stripped down and rebuilt from the crank up. The seat was reupholstered, brake shoes front and rear were renewed, the electrical wiring was renewed in places and a new rectifier was fitted. The exhaust pipes were re-chromed and all the oils and fluids were changed.

Having brought the bike back to a good roadworthy condition the bike was taken to a few classic bike meetings and shows where very often it rode away with best in show awards.

In later years after 2010, the bike has remained garaged and relatively unused, occasionally being started and run to keep things running nicely.

At the time of photography the bike started almost immediately after a 2 year period of inactivity which says a lot for George Brough’s original mandate of only the best will do,

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PAPERWORK


The V5 is present and correct and shows the re-registration in the UK in 2005 and only one previous owner.

The original 1936 log book is present, together with the original manuals and service book, a bound set of Brough Superior Club Newsletters, Club membership details, various best in show awards, the original model brochures and the paperwork relating to its registration in the Isle of Man

The last MOT was recorded in September 2010.

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CONDITION


At the ripe old age of 85 years this mechanical marvel of a motorcycle is in amazing original condition and wears its signs of riding and use as a badge of honour.

Everything works and the originally specified and supplied chrome tank gives this bike a real (no pun intended) superior look and aura.

As far as anyone knows this bike has not been the subject of any major restoration and as such remains in overall good original condition. Sure it has some obvious signs of wear and tear, worn rubber footrests and the patina of age appearing on many fixtures and components just adds to the authenticity and provenance of this wonderful machine.

The rear wheel hub and various nuts and bolts here and there are showing their age with light rusting and pitting, but so much of the bike is in such good condition that these small imperfections just make the good bits all the more incredible and pleasing to look at and admire.

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MECHANICS 


Mechanically the bike is said to be road worthy and road legal. Obviously we are dealing with a large V-twin that was built in 1936 so leaving plenty of stopping distance would be a good idea.

It should be noted that because of the way the oil is circulated and allowed to fall into the sump when not being used, upon start up after 2 years inactivity, the bike did leak oil from the sump for a while until the oil had been recovered from the sump and sent circulating round the engine again. Other than this quirk the bike is said to start, run and ride very well for its age.

THE APPEAL


The rarity and fame of these early Brough motorcycles is well known amongst serious vintage motorcycle collectors and you’ll usually find those examples that are left, displayed in museums and private collections the world over.

Unlikely to be used as a Sunday highway warrior it is most likely that this wonderful old bike will also find its way to an enthusiasts collection, to be gazed at and admired for many years to come, probably close to a sign that proclaims “1936 Brough Superior SS80…the Rolls Royce of Motorcycles”

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1936
  • Make Brough-Superior
  • Model Superior SS80
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer 50,320 Miles
  • Engine size 990
  • Location Merseyside
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
12 bids from 6 bidders
  • richard•••• £67,550 12/08/21
  • jim.wil•••• £65,000 12/08/21
  • roberts•••• £64,000 12/08/21
  • charles•••• £62,000 11/08/21
  • richard•••• £60,050 10/08/21
  • charles•••• £57,000 10/08/21
  • richard•••• £55,000 10/08/21
  • roberts•••• £45,050 07/08/21
  • roberts•••• £36,450 06/08/21
  • roberts•••• £31,000 06/08/21

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