1937 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp Special For Sale by Auction
Single ownership for circa 60 years Matching frame and engine Offered for restoration Legendary superbike of motorcyclings between-the-wars Golden Age, the Brough Superior was synonymous with high performance, engineering excellence and quality of finish. That such a formidable reputation was forged by a motorcycle constructed almost entirely from bought-in components 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. Always the perfectionist, Brough bought only the best available components for his motorcycles, reasoning that if the product was right, a lofty price tag would be no handicap. And in the Roaring Twenties there were sufficient wealthy connoisseurs around to prove him right, T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) being the most famous example.
The speed with which the name Brough Superior established itself as synonymous with excellence may be gauged from the fact that the famous Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles sobriquet was first coined in 1921 when the marque was barely two years old. The story goes that Rolls-Royce objected to their name being associated with a mere motorcycle - until they examined one of Georges creations.
Launched in 1933, the 1,096cc 11-50 was the largest Brough Superior to enter series production. Powered by a sidevalve v-twin (of unusual 60-degree configuration) supplied exclusively to the Nottingham factory by J A Prestwich, the 11-50 fitted into the Brough price range between the SS80 touring and SS100 super-sports models. The 11-50 was conceived as a long-legged, effortless tourer and could exceed 90mph in solo form or pull a heavy sidecar at up to 75mph; indeed, in the latter role it was one of the finest sidecar mounts of its day. Production lasted until 1939, by which time the 11-50 was the only JAP-powered machine in the Brough Superior range.
This 11-50 is highly unusual in so far as it incorporates a frame used twice by the factory; indeed it is the only example of this practice known to the Brough Superior Club. The frame is stamped 1928, which has been applied over 1227; both are correct factory stampings. 1227 originally formed part of an early rigid-framed 11-50 built in 1933; it seems that this machine was returned to the factory to be rebuilt around a new frame, which was stamped with the original number (this motorcycle exists and has been authenticated). Some four years later the original frame of 1227 was reused in a plunger-framed 11-50 and re-stamped 1928; that motorcycle being the one offered here, which was built on 17th December 1937 and supplied to Godfreys on 6th January 1938. The Brough left the factory fitted with a cruiser sidecar (since detached but still in existence elsewhere) and originally had chrome-plated mudguards with a black centre and gold lining.
There is then a gap in this machines history until 1962 when it resurfaces in the ownership of a Mr Suckling of Edmonton, London N18. Albert Wallace then owned it briefly, followed by a gentleman in Norwich, also briefly, before the machine was bought by the current owners grandfather in the late 1960s. Dry-stored, unused, for some considerable time, this delightfully original and well-preserved Brough is offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed. The machine comes with a V5C Registration Certificate and a copy of its Works Record Card details.
This motorcycle is to be auctioned at our Live and Online Winter Sale, Hanger 113, Bicester Heritage, OX26 5HA.
Friday 11 December
Spares & Memorabilia (Lot 1 - 112) 9am
The National Motorcycle Museum Reserve Collection (Lots 201 – 252) 11am
Saturday 12 December
Motorcycles (Day 2) (Lots 501 – 708) 10am
In light of the current government guidelines and relaxed measures we are delighted to welcome viewing, strictly by appointment. All the lots will be on view at Bicester Heritage in our traditional Hangar 113. We will ensure social distancing measures are in place, with gloves and sanitiser available for clients wishing to view motorcycle history files.
Please contact Bonhams Motorcycles by clicking 'Message the seller' with your preferred date, time and vehicle registration number to book an appointment.
Wednesday 9 December 9am to 5pm
Thursday 10 December 9am to 5pm
Friday 11 December 9am to 5pm (Lots 501 – 708 only)
LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION
Please note that whilst public viewing is available by appointment, the auction itself will be conducted from a remote saleroom, behind closed doors without public access, in accordance with the current government guidelines. All bidding will be conducted via Online, Telephone and Absentee Bidding. Please contact our Bids Department to register using the 'Message the seller' button.
COLLECTION OF PURCHASED LOTS
Motorcycle lots must be cleared from the sale venue by 2pm Sunday 13 December 2020. Limited collection is available until 2pm Monday 14 December, by appointment only. If collecting Monday, please access Bicester Heritage via the 'Main Gate', Buckingham Road, OX26 5HA. Please email us using the 'Message the seller' button with your collection or transport instructions as soon as possible following your successful bid. Failure to instruct Bonhams by the given time will result in your vehicle being uplifted to store at your expense, as detailed in the Conditions of Sale. Buyers should satisfy themselves that they have collected all relevant log books, documents and keys relating to their Lot(s) at time of collection.
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