Con­tin­ued over

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Features -

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

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