1935 Brough Superior 11-50

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Brough Motorcycles were built by William Brough from 1902 to 1926. William's son George wanted the company to move to making higher performing, more upscale motorcycles. His father disagreed, so his son went on to create a new company in the same city of Nottingham called the Brough Superior. The most expensive motorcycle in the world at that time, the Brough Superior had a wide following, from George Bernard Show to Lawrence of Arabia.

Most Brough Superior motorcycles were custom-built to customer demands, and each one was assembled twice by hand. The first assembly was to make sure that all parts fit within specifications, then the bike was taken apart, and parts were painted or plated, then it was reassembled. All bikes were then test ridden, and afterwards personally certified by George Brough.

The 11-50 was designed for sidecar and police use. The Superior Alpine petrol tube sidecar shown here can hold gasoline and be linked to the fuel tank for greater range.

This motorcycle will be sold by Mecum Auctions in Monterey, California on August 18-20, 2016, right before the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on August 21.

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from Mecum Auctions Press Release

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  • From the Dr. J. Craig Venter Collection
  • Originally dispatched from Haydn Street on 1st July 1935 with Staffordshire registration number RE8208
  • Complete with a new MoT, UK V5C logbook and letter from the Brough Superior Owners Club Machine Registrar
  • SOLD WITH SIDECAR LOT R443.1
  • Equipped with Serial 101 Alpine sidecar-Brough Superior records indicate this is the first Alpine sidecar
  • Always serviced and maintained in running condition by his resident mechanic
  • Believed to be 27,302 miles
  • 50hp, 1,100cc V-twin JAP side-valve engine, Amal carburetor
  • VIN M8/2214 Engine LTZ/D/35129/S
  • Four speed, hand-shift transmission
  • Swing arm rear suspension
  • Side tool bag
  • Hand operated front drum brake, foot operated rear drum brake

The Brough Superior Company made an impression on the motorcycle world all out of proportion to its actual output. Factory owner George Brough was a master of publicity, and strategically competed his machines in events such as trials, endurance runs, sprints, Brooklands time/distance events and he was likely to win. He made sure his machines were always immaculate before, during and after any competition. Brough Superiors were the most expensive motorcycles in the world at the time, but not all of them were out of reach of mere mortals. George Brough also catered to an ‘aspiring’ market by offering smaller capacity versions of his legendary SS100, the popular 680cc OHV model, and a few 500cc V-twins too. He also built elegant workhorses, such as the ’11-50’ model, its name arising from its nominal 11-horsepower engine capacity rating, with its 1100cc JAP V-twin with 60 degree cylinder angle and JAP power rating of 50 HP. The 11-50 was introduced in 1933, and proved immediately popular with police forces in the UK and Canada. Many of the surviving examples are ex-police machines. Brough Superior produced a little more than 3,000 motorcycles between 1920 and 1940, and about 10 percent of these were 11-50s built from 1933-40, making it one of their most popular models. This 1935 Brough Superior 11-50 was originally dispatched from the Haydn Road, Nottingham factory on July 1, 1935 and was registered in Staffordshire as ‘RE8208’. The frame was replaced at some point with one built in September 1939, just before the outbreak of World War II, and is the third to the last Brough Superior frame built by the original factory. The Brough is in correct condition according to its club-provided factory build sheet, and details are included in a letter from the Brough Superior Owners Club Machine Registrar, Mike Leatherdale. The 11-50 is in good running condition, after work by a specialist in the UK. The Brough Superior Alpine ‘petrol tube’ sidecar (it holds gasoline, and can be linked to the fuel tank) bears chassis number 101, and was originally fitted to a 1936 SS100, a special show model, and is the first production petrol-tube chassis.