In an incredible moment for historical motorcycle enthusiasts, a seemingly random assortment of old scrapped junk and metal parts has turned out to be a collection of components that make up two rare and valuable vintage bikes. The bikes themselves are of the Brough Superior brand and are actually valued at half a million British pounds. The motorcycles are decades old and classed among the very best models by vintage vehicle collectors and experts. A pair of anonymous bidders purchased the bikes at a recent auction.
The motorcycles themselves had been completely stripped down into dozens of separate parts and pieces. These individual items had been tracked down over the years by an avid motorcycle collector and enthusiast by the name of Gary Ross. Ross gathered his collection several years ago, and he had always hoped to restore the bikes to their original condition, but never quite found the time. Unfortunately, Mr. Ross passed away recently at the age of 69 and was never able to fulfill his dream. He left behind his widow, Elaine, who made the decision to sell the parts at an auction with Bonhams, one of the most-respected auction houses in the world.
Little did Elaine know that these parts were of immense value. Expert appraisers were sent from Bonhams to inspect the parts. They discovered that the various pieces could be assembled into two distinct Brough Superior motorcycle models, specifically the SS100 Alpine Grand models from 1926 and 1927. Mr Ross hadn’t quite managed to source every single part he needed, so additional research will need to be done before the bikes can be fully restored. However, the two models sold for a combined total of just under £500,000.
The Brough Superior brand is iconic in motorcycle history. The company was founded by George Brough in 1919 in the English town of Nottingham. Brough himself built thousands of bikes over a 21-year period, and the models he created have left an impressive legacy. Dave Clark, a restorer who works with Bonhams, was called in to fit together the jigsaw of parts in order to help auction-goers understand what they were bidding for. Another employee of Bonhams, Ben Walker, revealed the rarity of these models, stating that only 74 editions of each model were actually made.
Given how rare and majestic these motorcycles are, it’s no surprise that some anonymous buyers were willing to part with large sums of money to own them. The SS100 Alpine Grand models were capable of record-breaking speeds for their time, with Brough Superior bikes commonly being referred to as the motorcycle equivalent of the Rolls Royce motorcar. This story is particularly touching, as it involves one passionate man, Gary Ross, who spent a lot of time and energy pursuing his dream. He wasn’t quite able to fulfill it, but he has still been able to provide an incredible sum of money for the people he leaves behind.