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Historic Brough Superior hits the auction block

Fri, 03 Dec 2010

Motorcycle pioneer and racer George Brough's 1925 prototype Brough Superior SS 100 Alpine Grand Sport has a shot at breaking the world record for motorcycles at auction on Dec. 15.

The iconic piece from the Michael FitzSimons collection could fetch $600,000 to $700,000 at the New York auction house Phillips de Pury & Co. This would beat the previous record of $551,000 for a 1915 Cyclone board track racer in Monterey in 2008. The record price for a Brough is thought to be $446,000.

Crafted for high-altitude, high-speed competition in the Austrian Alps, Brough won the eight-day 1925 Austrian Speed Trials on the Alpine Grand Sport. Longer and lower than the standard SS 100, the bike has space for overnight gear and two tool bags attached. It also has a Bonniksen time and trip speedometer.

Brough hadthis bike for a year, winning the London-to-Edinburgh Trial in May 1925 and the Victory Cup Trial in March 1926 before selling it to an Indian prince. Known as the Rolls-Royce of motorcycles, current owner FitzSimons later acquired the Alpine Grand Sport and has had it for 25 years.

The winning bidder will get authentic documentation and photos of George Brough on the bike on expeditions such as the Austrian trials.

The Brough line was made famous by T. E. Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia, who owned seven Superiors.

By Michelle Koueiter