News Un-restored Brough Superior to Bonhams

Un-restored Brough Superior to Bonhams

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Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale

Collectors will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire two important Brough Superior SS-80 motorcycles at the Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale at The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show on Sunday, Oct. 21: one original, un-restored and not been seen publicly for more than eight decades, and the other once owned by the founder of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club.

1925 Brough Superior SS-80

The remarkable ‘barn-find’ 981cc 1925 model (estimate £55,000 – £75,000; $89,000 – $120,000) has been owned by the same family since new and off the road since 1930.

Bonhams sold a 1924 model – thought to be the most original surviving example of its type – at the Autumn Stafford Sale last year. The machine, also offered at auction for the first time in its history, sold for £100,500.

1930 Brough Superior SS-80 De Luxe “Black Bess”

Founder of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club (VMCC), the late C E ‘Titch’ Allen OBE, bought ‘Black Bess’, as the machine came to be known, using a £50 gratuity given to him in the aftermath of World War II, during which he served as a dispatch rider and a sergeant, being awarded the British Empire Medal.

He had a life-long love affair with the Brough Superior marque, and in a 1997 letter to the current owner, said of ‘Black Bess’: “In many ways it was the most important bike in my life.”

Restored to original specification by marque specialists during the 1990s after its acquisition by the current vendor, the motorcycle is offered for sale in excellent condition, and is estimated to realize between £80,000 and £120,000.

Ben Walker (Head of the Bonhams Motorcycle Department) says: “We are delighted to be able to offer these two remarkable machines at our Autumn Stafford Sale.

“Brough Superiors still in the possession of the first owner’s family can, in all probability, be counted on the fingers of one hand. So this wonderfully original and un-restored 1925 model, accompanied by a fascinating history file, represents a possible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for discerning collectors.

“VMCC founder Titch Allen was tireless in his work to promote and preserve the vintage motorcycle scene, and we are honoured to offer one of his favourite machines for sale.

“With the 1929 Grindlay-Peerless ‘Hundred Model’ that won the Brooklands ‘Gold Star’ award for a 100mph lap in 1937, Aled Jenkins’s fantastic collection of modern Japanese classics and now these two machines, as well as many other exciting motorcycles, the Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale is shaping up to be one of our most important sales of the year.”

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).

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