WHAT REALLY MAKES A BROUGH SO SUPERIOR?
Imagine you’re holding £8000 in your hands, and you’re going to buy a bike with it. What would you go for? How about the rusty remains of a 1938 Brough Superior SS100, one that looks like it’s spent the past 80 years on the seabed?
Tempted? Plenty of people will be. The most expensive model before last week’s Stafford Sale, which, incidentally, was gleamingly clean and fully functioning – sold in November 2014 for an astonishing £315,100.
So what is it that makes founder George Brough’s remaining machines so spectacularly desirable and expensive in 2016? We reckon there are four factors, the first of which is the most obvious: they are of great historical value. Every one of them was built in a 21-year span from 1919 to 1940, and the culture and imagery that surround them are palpably part of the inter-war ‘roaring twenties’. Factor number two follows on logically: exclusivity.
Just over 3000 Brough Superior motorcycles (and only 384 flagship SS100S) were ever put together, and perhaps only a third of them remain in any kind of recognisable condition today. These factors, of course, would mean nothing without factors three and four: Brough Superiors displayed levels of design innovation never previously seen on two-wheeled machines, and were built with a premium value in mind that was never compromised for the sake of affordability. Brough personally approved every bike that left the Nottingham-based factory and famously said of his SS100, so called because it came with the guarantee promising it would hit a then stratospheric