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Brough SS80 could near £100,000?

‘Box of bits’ restorations can cause no end of heartbreak, but this Brough Superior SS80 – coming up for auction on 26th October– could make a happy ending for its owner, who after buying the ‘basket case’ Brough in the 1990s, took 20 years to restore it to its current pristine condition. Charterhouse Auctions, which is putting the Brough under the hammer at the Haynes Motor Museum, along with 100 or so other bikes, expects it to make £65,000-£70,000 on the day. However, get two determined bidders in the same room, and maybe it really could get to six figures…

Broughs – the British superbikes of the 1920s and ‘30s – are highly sought after today, and not just because of their performance and glamorous demeanour. TE Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, loved the big V-twins, and wrote eloquently about their ability to eat up the miles on the long, straight and empty roads of the time. And of course, adding to the mystique of the brand, he died on one, near his home in Clouds Hill Dorset, after a trip to the Post Office.

If a six-figure Brough is out of your pocket, then the Charterhouse auction has plenty more affordable bikes, including a Mobylette (expected price £500-600) and a Yamaha SRX400 (£1000-£2000).

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, said: “ A bit rich for my blood, my piggy bank would be at the Mobylette end. In fact, the SRX is more my cuppa, but I wish the owner well, I do know what ground up restorations are like as I’ve been involved in a few, you need the patience of Job and it costs a lot more than you might think, especially if there’s any specialist fabrication involved. If there’s an owner’s club, join it, and if you’re buying someone else’s ‘boxes of bits’ unfinished project, make sure of what you’re actually buying!”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Charterhouse Auctions