Brough Superior Seeks New Owner – He Who Dies With the Least Toys Wins

He Who Dies With the Least Toys Wins

I did a post this week about my dream bike, and being able to buy a new one if you have a spare $250,000 stuffed into coffee cans buried in the back yard, but if you really want the genuine article, here’s your chance…

This SS 100 is from the collection of Michael FitzSimons, Esq.,  and is estimated to bring $275,000-$295,000 at auction next month in Nevada.

But as always is the case, there’s a story behind the bike and the man who wants to sell it to you. Listen to this story…

The current owner, one Michael FitzSimons, took a few moments to tell us about this incredible machine:

When did you buy the bike?

MF: 2008

Do or did you ride it? Often?

MF: Seldom

What got you interested in owning the Brough? Are you a hardcore bike guy? Collector?

MF: Collecting for forty years.  I have had all the Brough models through the years.

Why are you selling? Always interested to know that.

MF: Now at age 76, it’s ; ‘he who dies with the least toys wins.’

Do you have any other bikes – from the noteworthy to the every day – I like them all and find it interesting to know why people choose the machines they do?

MF: I have been riding motorcycles since I was a 10-year-old boy in Detroit, one of my earliest being an Ariel with a 350cc single-cylinder engine.

The light chassis and easy handling of the British bikes, when compared to the American machines, made me a British motorcycle enthusiast during and after my years as a University of Michigan mechanical engineering student. When the British bike industry collapsed in the early 1970s, I could no longer enjoy the new models, so I began collecting the older ones.

My training as an engineer drew me to the Vincents, which were incredibly fast, well-made machines, several of which I owned in the days when they were just gaining recognition among collectors; but it was George Brough’s  superbikes that ultimately got my attention.

The SS-100 were hand-made superb handling, thoroughbreds capable of 100MPH as delivered in 1925.

How long have you had the Brough?

MF: Three years

Dunlop Tyre Test SS-100 Brough Superior

This is an SS-100 with the last JAP short stroke KTOR engine to leave the works. A contributor to the book ‘The Dunlop Story’ was able to furnish the wonderful works photo of it with sidecar, as delivered to Dunlop Rubber Company in 1928. The Brough Superior machine registrar verified the Dunlop provenance. After the war it emerged minus sidecar and with a Brough works replacement frame, the rigors of war duty with sidecar having been too stressful for the original frame. In 2001 the machine was completely restored in England. Recently, the engine was disassembled and inspected ; the rebuild is very good, and with proper re-commissioning the machine will be ready for the road. .

The machine is period authentic, retaining all of its 1928 components. Included also are Dunlop tyre pumps & tyre levers, Dunlop signs, complete Brough tool kit, ‘Dunlop Story’ book, and a medal commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the company founding.



Insuring your collectible or vintage motorcycle

As for insurance for your collectible motorcycle? You should be able to get Agreed Value coverage on a classic 1959 BSA Gold Star Catalina valued at $15,000 for somewhere around $25 a month, and that gives you the whole shooting match of coverage.

You can spend a lot less, but if you plan to ride the bikes in your collection, the above pricing is a reasonable approximation of what you can expect to pay.

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1 Response

  1. Very cool.

    Kinda like those world war II bikes you see in the movies. Diggin the double tale pipe…