Did you know that the world record for a motorcycle sold at auction is $551,000? It was set in 2008 by a 1915 Cyclone board track racer. But that record might be broken on 15 December, when George Brough’s prototype Brough Superior SS 100 goes under the hammer in New York. This machine is the evocatively-named Alpine Grand Sport variant, and it’s tipped to go for between $600,000 and $700,000.
The 1,000cc V-twin Brough Superior SS 100 was guaranteed to do 100 mph, and in 1925 George Brough himself won the Austrian Speed Trials on this very bike. (More images here.) It was prepared by his Chief Engineer, Harold “Oily” Karslake, and tweaked for high-speed competition in the Austrian Alps. Brough added large Rexine panniers for overnight gear, two tool bags below them, and had the motor tuned for competition at altitude. The Alpine Grand Sport also includes an isochronous Bonniksen speedometer—with timing facilities—and is longer and lower than the standard SS 100. George Brough’s success in the trials led to Austria becoming the second largest market for Brough Superior, and Brough kept this particular bike as his own personal transport for a year, before selling it to a prince in India.
Much as I love motorcycles, I’m not sure any machine is worth more than half a million dollars. But if you’re going to pay that money for a bike, this is probably the one to choose. [With thanks to Chuck Squatriglia. More on Wired Autopia and The Vintagent. ]
Phillips de Pury & Company’s “Design Masters” sale will be held on 15 December. The venue is at 450 Park Avenue; consignments will be on view there 9-14 December, from 10am to 6pm.