News Norton JAP, Brough Superior on The Block

Norton JAP, Brough Superior on The Block

1958_Norton_JAP_996cc

History For Sale

Bonhams are proud to announce the addition of two fantastic new highlights to its motorcycle auction on 25th April 2010 at The International Classic MotorCycle Show, Stafford.

One is the ex-Francis Williams, Basil Keys Norton-JAP 996cc Mk1 ‘Saltdean Special’ Sprinter (estimate £90,000-100,000) (~$150,000 USD) and the other a 1938 Brough Superior 982cc SS100 (estimate £110,000-130,000) (~$200,000 USD); both are expected to attract much enthusiastic bidding on the day.

The ex-Francis Williams, Basil Keys Norton-JAP is a historic sprinting motorcycle with outstanding stature and competition pedigree. This example is the first of three Norton-JAP sprinters conceived and built by Francis J Williams and it was the machine to beat in its day.

In 1959 it was sold to Basil Keys, himself a dedicated sprinting enthusiast, who went on to win many events on it with the name Basil Keys becoming synonymous with the Brighton Speed Trials. In 1959 he broke the course record at Brighton, covering the standing-start kilometer in 21.59 seconds at an average speed of 103.61mph.

Lot 445, the Brough Superior SS100 needs little introduction. Legendary superbike of motorcycling’s between-the-wars ‘Golden Age’, Brough Superior – ‘The Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles’ – 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. This example has only had four owners and is offered for sale by a Brough Superior Club copy works record card, a Tester’s Road Report and an old-style buff logbook issued in April 1955.

With over 500 lots of motorcycles and related memorabilia ranging from an 1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmuller to a 1950 ex-Ernie Thomas Velocette KTT Mk VIII, and a 1950 Vincent 998cc Series-C Rapide to a 1974 Laverda 750SFC Production Racing Motorcycle, this is an auction that should not be missed.

Ben Walker, Head of Motorcycle Department comments, “This is without a doubt one of the best line-ups of collectors’ motorcycles ever offered for sale at The International Classic Motorcycle Show.

There is something for everyone, the sale encompassing all genres and areas of collecting. Given the number of important and historic machines on offer I expect the printed catalogue to become a collectors item in its own right!

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

2022 Indian FTR Lineup First Look (8 Fast Facts)

It’s barely 2021, yet the 2022 Indian FTR lineup is here, and there are some significant changes to three of the four variants. In...

2021 Kawasaki KLX230R S First Look (8 Fast Facts)

Just a year after the debut of the Kawasaki KLX230R trail bike, we get our first look at the 2021 Kawasaki KLX230R S. While...

2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS First Look (19 Fast Facts)

Forget what you know about any previous Triumph Speed Triple. The 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS is an all-new naked upright sportbike ready...

2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited First Look: Updates, Specs, Photos

The 2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited arrives with two new paint choices, plus a couple of updates in the dash area. There’s a new LED...

MP Magic 37.5 Tech Merino Wool Socks Review (All-Season Footwear)

I’m very picky when it comes to motorcycle socks. For dirt bikes, it’s easy. I always wear Fly Racing Knee Brace socks, as they...

2021 Triumph Tiger 850 Sport Review (13 Fast Facts)

Marketing is a funny thing. Usually, manufacturers exaggerate the displacement in model names—even if only by a little bit. However, in the case of...