Jump to content
Indian Motorcycle Community

Brough Superior Back From The Grave

Recommended Posts




There is a 'Superior' Brough Superior now being reproduced true to form in Austria with prices starting at $140,000 per unit.









Just two months ago, a Brough Superior SS100 sold in the U.K. and set a world auction record of GBP286,000 (US$450,188), though that statement comes with a massive disclaimer, as technically there are now two "most expensive motorcycles sold at auction."


That sounds ridiculous, but it is indeed true. Let me explain.


In 2008, a rarer-than-hens'-teeth 1915 Cyclone board racer sold in the United States for US$551,200. In comparative currency, due to the exchange rates at that time, the sale price equated to GBP278,400 in imperial currency.


So there are now two highest priced motorcycles in the world, depending on which currency you prefer.


What is becoming more obvious though, is that Brough Superior is emerging as the most valuable motorcycle brand at auction, now holding four of the top 12 most valuable ever with a fifth set to sell in the near future, when collectors come to their senses and recognize that one of the iconic motorcycles of history is available.


Probably the biggest news though, is the resurrection of the Brough Superior marque - you can now buy a "genuine" replica, MUCH better than the originals of the thirties, for around US$150,000.





These are the Rolls Royces of Motorcycles. Few will be produced and fewer will be ridden as intended.

So it’s entirely understandable that everyone expected this machine to take the new world record for a motorcycle at auction. It is a prototype of a famous machine, with four major wins in twelve months, and the personal machine of a legendary figure. Even at its passed in price, a price which a buyer was willing to pay, it would have become the third most valuable motorcycle ever to sell at auction. Had it reached its reserve price, it would have extended the record for obvious reasons. There are some wonderful period shots of the machine in the hands of Brough on the new official Brough Superior site.


The new “official” Brough Superior site I hear you ask?


The new old Brough Superior

Yes, the Brough Superior name was purchased in 2008 by a British motorcycle enthusiast named Mark Upham, who now produces better-than-original replicas of a number of famous Brough Superior models in limited numbers in Austria. As the genuine owner of the marque, these Brough Superiors are no less authentic than any Triumph, Harley Davidson, Jaguar, Lotus, Cadillac, Bugatti, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Lamborghini or any other once famous marque that has changed ownership since it first came to prominence.


The big difference of course, is that marques with equivalent historical models of such gravitas (Bugatti, Cadillac, Alfa Romeo, Bentley and Rolls Royce all made vehicles which are now worth a King's Ransom) have not actually made genuine reproductions before.




What's more, the advantage of being absolutely-and-utterly-dedicated-to-quality, which Upham quite unequivocally is, and making detailed replicas of an eighty year-old machine today, is that the castings, metallurgy, machining and all components can be manufactured to significantly higher quality and closer tolerances than George Brough could ever have dreamed might be possible.


Perhaps an even more significant advantage of producing copies of original bespoke machinery in the modern era, is that exact models of significant historical pieces can be reproduced. For example the aforementioned Brough poster-boy, Lawrence of Arabia, owned eight Brough Superiors, and his best known Brough was nicknamed "George IV" and featured among a number of his published works.


Brough Superior is now producing exact replicas of Lawrence's George IV - down to the very last detail. It's almost impossible to read Lawrence's account of the encounter with the RAF bi-plane on a country road and not wish to relive the experience and this can now be done with more authenticity than previously possible - at a price - approximately US$150,000.




Just how the marketplace will treat the modern day Brough Superiors in terms of retained value will be interesting to watch, particularly given that original Brough Superior prices are now entering the stratosphere. There is absolute agreement by everyone who has seen the quality of the modern day Brough Superiors that they are better than the original Brough Superior. Many of the castings for the modern day Brough are produced in the same factory which produces castings for Audi and Lamborghini.


Whatsmore, at US$150,000, the new Broughs will run harder and longer and represent a significant saving in the purchase price in comparison to original Brough Superiors. Take for example, this original Brough Superior for sale at Iconic Motorcycles in the heart of the Cotswald. It's asking price is roughly double that of one of the new Broughs. It is a rare 1927 Pendine racing version that has been restored with a view to earning its keep as a working vintage bike in period racing, but is it really worth twice the value of one of Mark Upham's modern day Brough Superior.


So there we have it. Brough Superior is unquestionably becoming the most sought after motorcycle marque for collectors worldwide, and at the same time there are authentic replicas being produced for the first time ever. All those with theories on what will happen to the pricing should post to the comments field, and may the most logical and eloquent posting win the day.


Finally, what would George say? My bet is that he would be so "over the moon" at the quality of the castings, the impossibly miniscule tolerances and finer degree of craftsmanship of the new machinery, that he would declare it indeed, a superior Brough Superior.




Seems you could buy 4 or 5 King's Mountain Indian Chiefs for the price one would pay for a single new Brough replica out of Austria... I would liken the Austrian Broughs to the KIWI INDIAN Replicas in that all new modern castings and assemblies are being basiclly hand built one at a time with emphasis on modern metals, quality and structural integrity - with buyer-chosen custom touches for each unit produced.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"As the genuine owner of the marque, these Brough Superiors are no less authentic than any Triumph, Harley Davidson, Jaguar, Lotus, Cadillac, Bugatti, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Lamborghini or any other once famous marque that has changed ownership since it first came to prominence".




I guess that depends on who's doing the cipherin!


"These are the Rolls Royces of Motorcycles"


Fuckers, we know better'n that!


That being said, kudo's to em. Now if we can get someone to build a Flying Merkle, and the Crocker is being rebuilt as we speak.










And the one that would've saved Indian's bacon in Springfield, the Vindian manufactured(Chief frame, Vincent Powerplant) would be awesome!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...