Brough Superior Old Bill becomes the most expensive motorcycle ever sold at auction
Known for high performance, superior quality and double assembling, Brough Superior motorcycles have always been considered the most likely long term investment for collectors. We have earlier seen that the Brough Superior’s Retro Pendine hand-made motorcycle goes for sale at a price of $250K, which was close to the $300K price of Ecosse Titanium Series, the world’s most expensive motorcycle. Now, the Brough Superior’s world renowned “Old Bill”, the most desirable motorcycle raced by George Brough himself, is expected to break motorcycle auction records when it will be up for auction on October 23.
Featured in every book ever written about the outstanding Brough marque, ‘Old Bill’ is known to be one of the most exclusive bikes ever produced from the house of Brough. Produced in 1922, especially for Brough founder George Brough, Old Bill was earlier dubbed as ‘Spit & Polish’, due to its immaculate shining appearance. Later, the motorcycle was named Old Bill after World War One cartoon character, following Brough rebuilding the motorcycle for hill climbing and sprinting.
Featuring a 1000c side-valve and V-twin engine, the motorcycle made its racing debut at Brooklands in Surrey, becoming the first ever side-valve motorcycle to finish a lap at over 100 miles per hour. The iconic machine also gave Mr. Brough his first win, and went on to win a total of 51 sprints in the seasons of year 1922 and 1923. However, after suffering two crashes which unfortunately saw him hospitalized, George Brough retired the bike after the historic seasons. The motorcycle got subsequently damaged when a cast-iron bath fell through a ceiling during the WWII, and it remained in storage until the 1950s. Then, it was acquired by ‘Titch’ Allen, the famous Brough enthusiast and founder of now 16,000 strong Vintage Motorcycle Club.
Boasting unrivaled combination of significance and provenance, Old Bill has been consigned by H&H for auction as part of the Roger Allen Collection at the company’s Duxford sale on October 4. Before hoping to break auction records at the sale, this spectacular sprinter can be seen at The Carole Nash International Classic Motorcycle Show to be held on 28-29 April, 2012 at Stafford.
Earlier in 2010, the very same auction house sold the Brough Superior SS100 for staggering $460,558, setting the world record for a motorcycle at an auction. While In the UK at the Stafford Show in 2008, during a Bonhams Auction, a 1949 Vincent Black Lighting fetched $382,000, less than its expected price tag.
UPDATE: Consigned by H&H for auction at IWM Duxford this year, the “Old Bill” motorcyle has established the world record for being the most expensive motorcyle ever sold at auction. The 1922 Brough Superior SS80 appeared on the open market for the first time in over fifty years, and it successfully drew the interest of potential buyers from three continents. The has been sold for $468,963 (£291,200). H&H broke its own record for a motorcycle sold at auction, the previous most expensive motorcycle it has sold earlier was the 1929 Brough Superior SS100 that went under the hammer in 2010 fetching a record £286,000.