Brough Superior 3.5-Litre

1937 Brough Superior 3½-Litre Saloon by Atcherley

Offered by Bonhams | Chicester, U.K. | July 13, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

From the straight-on front view of this car, you find that it is rather imposing. This is probably quite intentional as George Brough, the designer of this car, is known as the builder of the some of history’s greatest, high-end motorcycles. So why wouldn’t his cars be just as high-end and intimidating?

Those cars, though much rarer, were built to a high standard – some so high they never made it past prototype stage. His first car was the 4-Litre, which featured a Hudson chassis. Railton, one of Brough’s chief competitors who also happened to use that same chassis, put a stop to it.

This left Brough with a single model: the 3.5-litre. It’s powered by a 107 horsepower, 3.5-liter straight-six. Top speed was 90 mph and the cars were competitively priced. But with a war looming, six-cylinder production ended in 1939 and only about 60 3.5-litres were built since they went on sale in 1936. Most of these were convertibles, but this Atcherley-bodied Saloon is one of three such examples known to exist.

It was restored over a three year period and sat in storage since completion. It will need freshening before use – use it deserves. It should bring between $33,000-$47,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Brough Superior V-12

1938 Brough Superior 4½-Litre V-12 Sports Saloon

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 13, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

George Brough built some of the best motorcycles the world has ever seen. They were overbuilt masterpieces of engineering that are highly sought after today and remain one of the most expensive motorcycles you can buy in today’s world. Between 1935 and 1939 Brough built a very select few four-wheeled automobiles as well.

Originally he offered a 3.5-liter six and a 4.0-liter eight. Only about 20 eight-cylinder cars were built (it used a chassis from Hudson, much like the Railton, which was a Brough automotive competitor, and Railton sued and it became a thing so Hudson stopped supplying the chassis). So Brough only had a six-cylinder car left after that. George  then decided to build a large twelve-cylinder car, using an engine from a Lincoln-Zephyr. This car is powered by that silky-smooth, 4.4-liter, 110 horsepower V-12.

Unfortunately, it was 1938 and introducing an expensive V-12 road car probably wasn’t the best financial move, especially as this car would’ve retailed for £1,250 with the body (for comparison, a ’37 Ford Model Y would’ve run only £100). Only one car was completed, this one. The sports saloon coachwork is by Charlesworth, the main coachbuilder of Brough Superior’s chief car rival, Alvis. This one-off has been in storage for 25 years but will be a hot show item when restored. It should bring between $20,000-$34,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

November 2014 Auction Recap, Pt. II

First up here is Silverstone Auctions’ NEC Classic Motor Show sale. Our featured Mercedes CLK DTM sold for $196,650. The top sale was this 1994 Jaguar XJ220 formerly owned by the royal family of Brunei. Check out full results here.

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Osenat’s sale in Lyon had two cars that tied for the top sale – both at $120,280. First, this 1965 Alfa Romeo 1600 SS

Photo - Osenat

Photo – Osenat

…and the other was this 1972 Maserati Bora.

Photo - Osenat

Photo – Osenat

Our featured Aries B4B sold for $14,880 while the Traction Avant Cabriolet failed to sell. Check out full results here. The third auction we’re covering in this rundown is RM’s sale of the Sam Pack Collection where this 1967 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster was the top sale for $1,292,500.

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

We featured six concept cars from the Ford Motor Company that were offered in this sale. The top seller was, surprisingly, the Ford Sport Trac Adrenalin Concept which more than doubled the high end of its estimate, selling for $173,250. At the other end of things, the Ford Focus Kona Wagon brought $8,250. In the middle was the Lincoln MKS Concept for $27,500.

The two Thunderbird Prototypes sold – the Sports Roadster for $55,000 and the Supercharged for $57,750. The T-Bird-based Lincoln Mark X brought $129,250. Click here for full results. Next up, Mecum’s Anaheim sale. The #1 seller, far and away, was this 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Short Nose that brought $2,150,000.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Our featured Jowett Jupiter sold for $26,000. Check out full results here. Finally, Bonhams’ Bond Street sale where our featured Porsche 908/02 was the top sale at $3,437,744. Two of our feature cars failed to sell: the Mercedes-Simplex and the Benetton-Ford. Interesting sales were topped by the huge price ($495,645) paid for this spotless 1929 Brough Superior SS100.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Fiat-Abarth racing prototype sold for $213,767 and the Talbot Alpine Racer brought an impressive $2,169,294. Click here for full results.

A Brough Superior Road Car

1935 Brough Superior 4-Litre Drophead Coupe by Atcherely

Offered by H&H Auctions | Buxton, U.K. | October 30, 2013

1935 Brough Superior 4-Litre

George Brough built, perhaps, the greatest motorcycles of all time. Brough Superior motorcycles are the most sought-after collector bikes out there and with good reason: they were the result of fantastic engineering and incredible build-quality. They were the most expensive motorcycles you could buy and were the equivalent of a two-wheeled Rolls-Royce.

Motorcycle production started in 1919 and continued to 1940. In 1935, George Brough decided to produce a few cars as well. The first model used a Hudson-sourced 4-litre straight-eight engine making 125 horsepower. They offered quick acceleration and a 90 mph top speed. The 4-Litre lasted only through 1936 before it was replaced by a six-cylinder model. Most had this bodywork from Atcherley.

Only about 20 4-Litre cars were built and only eight are known to survive (Brough Superior only built about 85 cars total). This car is “described as ‘restored.'” What’s interesting to me is that Brough Superior motorcycles, while very rare, outnumber cars by a lot to a few and bring prices very similar to the $110,000-$130,000 that this car is supposed to bring. I’ve just always assumed cars would be more expensive than motorcycles. I guess that’s not always the case, but it sure makes this car seem like a bargain. Click here for more info and here for more from H&H.

Update: Sold $107,800.

Bonhams Stafford Motorcycle Sale Highlights

The “Important, Vintage and Collectors’ Motorcycle” sale, held this past weekend by Bonhams at the Staffordshire Country Showground, featured a handful of big-money bikes that rolled across the block. The stunning top sale went to a 1934 Brough Superior SS100 that sold for $394,000.

The two motorcycles we featured, the 1953 Ferrari 150cc Super Sport and the 1928 Windhoff 764cc Four, did not sell. It seems we are back to our old ways of being able to pick out the motorcycles that won’t meet reserve. Other insane sales included a 1939 Vincent-HRD Series A Rapide that brough $366,000.

The Ferrari that we featured might not have sold, but a different “Ferrari” bike did. This particular motorcycle is a one-off, 500cc model built by David Kay Engineering with full blessing of Piero Ferrari, Enzo’s son. It sold for $139,000.

There were about 150 other motorcycle sold at this sale, including a few more $100,000+ Vincents. For complete results, check out Bonhams’ website.

Bonhams’ Shepton Mallet Motorcycle Highlights

Bonhams recent (okay it was the 18th of February) motorcycle sale in Shepton Mallet, England featured a number of affordable bikes – a majority of all sales were of the sub-$7,000 type. The top sale was this 1932 Brough Superior Black Alpine 680:

It’s a good bet that when a Brough Superior shows up in an auction catalog that it will be the top seller of the sale. This time that was certainly true, selling for about $100,500 – more than double the price of second-highest seller. This is a time-capsule version that has never been restored and is not running. And the second-highest selling bike was a 1955 Vincent Rapide Series D for about $43,000.

The 1938 Ariel Square Four that we featured last month sold for a couple dollars under $19,000, which, I think, makes it the first motorcycle featured on this site to actually sell.

There were a ton of scooter or scooter-type… things (there was a Honda trike that looked like a toy) selling at this auction. Our picks for the coolest bikes sold were a pair of green ones. First, this 1957 Douglas 348cc Dragonfly:

It brought about $5,800 (I say “about” because the auction was in GBP and I have to do my own currency conversion). I just like the way it looks. Same with this 1978 Benelli 125 Turismo. There isn’t anything spectacular about it. I guess it’s because the paint is so nice.

Anyway, I wish I would’ve been there to buy it for its $1,082 selling price. For complete results, click here.

Bonhams Harrogate Highlights

Bonhams recent motorcycle and car auction at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate, U.K. featured a few interesting sales. Unfortunately, three of our featured vehicles here on the site did not sell: the Triumph 1800 Roadster, Bristol Beaufighter and the Brough Superior SS100.

Some of the highlights include a 1963 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser. The 40 Series of the Land Cruiser range were made from 1960 until 1984 (and even longer in Brazil. These cars – er, uh, Jeeps – are much beloved by the off-road community. This particular model looks brand new and was owned by the Rover Car Co as an “evaluation” vehicle. It sold for about $26,000. Bonhams has these pictures locked, but I’ll do what I can for the other cars.

At most British auctions, there is a large selection of British cars. Two that I’d like to focus on are a 1946 Hillman Minx Drophead Coupe and this 1934 BSA Scout Roadster.

This isn’t the exact car – the exact car had striking red brakes and wheel caps. BSA, Birmingham Small Arms Company, is known primarily as a motorcycle manufacturer but they built cars from 1909 until 1926 and again from 1929 until 1940. Some of these cars where sporty three-wheelers but they built a number of four-wheeled variants as well. This 8.9 horsepower Scout uses a 1,075cc engine that was rebuilt about three years ago. It sold for about $12,000.

The Hillman Minx was produced from the early 1930s through 1970. The immediate postwar Minx (the example sold at Bonhams a 1946) did not differ much from the pre-war Minx. The model is commonplace but the Drophead Coupe body style is quite rare. A driver in nice black paint sold for about $5,700.

There were two interesting old trucks that passed across the block at this sale: a 1925 Autocar 27KS 5-Ton Truck in original running condition sold for about $10,000. And a 1927 International SF24 1.5-Ton Flat-Bed Truck in restored-as-necessary condition with an engine rebuild at some point brought about the same price.

Check out the complete results here (with pictures!).

Brough Superior SS100

1928 Brough Superior SS100

Offered by Bonhams, Yorkshire, November 16, 2011

The bike shown above is not the same bike offered by Bonhams at their Yorkshire auction (Bonhams keeps their photos to themselves). But, the bike shown above was actually owned by T.E. Lawrence (of Lawrence of Arabia fame). Lawrence was actually killed while riding an SS100 (sans helmet).

The bike offered by Bonhams is an early example – the SS100 entered production in 1924 and was produced until the war broke out and the company shut down production in 1940. Of all models, Brough Superior produced a little over 3,000 bikes, a third of which still exist today. The motorcycles were built to exacting standards – the highest standard for motorcycles built before or since. They were tested before being delivered and if they didn’t perform exactly to George Brough’s standards they were re-built until perfect. They were, and are, considered “The Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles.”

This model features the early 998cc JAP V-Twin engine producing 45 horsepower @5000 rpm (later models had Matchless engines). The ‘100’ in SS100 meant that they were capable of 100 mph.

They were expensive when new and they remain so today. The example offered by Bonhams is expected to sell for between €190,000 and €210,000 (or $250,000-$285,000). You can read the entire lot description here and about the sale here.

Update: Not Sold.