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Brough Superior - 4-Litre series

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units: metric UK US

About Brough Superior

Brough Superior (pr. bruff su-peer-ee-or) motorcycles and motor cars were made by George Brough in his Brough Superior works on Haydn Road in Nottingham, England from 1919 to 1940. They were dubbed the "Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles" by H. D. Teague of The Motorcycle newspaper. Approximately 3048 of 19 models were made in 21 years of production. In 2004, around 1000 still exist. T.E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") owned seven bikes and died from injuries sustained while crashing one. George Bernard Shaw was another among many celebrities that were enthusiastic about Brough products.

George Brough was a racer, designer, and showman. All Brough Superior motorcycles were high performance and superior quality. Most of them were custom made to suit the customers needs, and rarely were any two of the same configuration. Each motorcycle was assembled twice. The first assembly was for fitting of all components, then the motorcycle was disassembled and all parts were painted or plated as needed. Then the finished parts were assembled a final time. Every motorcycle was test ridden to make sure that each one performed to the specifications of the particular model. Each motorcycle was personally certified by George Brough. The SS100 model was ridden at 100 miles per hour or over before being delivered to the customer. The SS80 model was ridden at 80 miles per hour or over before being delivered. If any motorcycle failed to meet the specifications, the motorcycle was taken back to the shop and worked upon until it performed to the specifications of the particular model. The fit and finish was comparable to a Rolls-Royce automobile. These were some of the most expensive motorcycles in the world.

Brough Superior motorcycles have always been rare and expensive. They are some of the most desirable antique motorcycles for an enthusiast to collect. Because of their connection with Lawrence of Arabia, their high quality level of fit and finish, and their reputation for reliability and winning races, they are one of the most collectible of all the worlds' motorised vehicles. In 2007, prices ranged from $40,000 to more than $3,000,000 USD.

Brough Superior motorcycles

Model history

Four models are the most common:

  • SS100 (Super Sports) - Powered by J.A.P. (J. A. Prestwich of Tottenham) or Matchless 1000 cc overhead valve v-twin engines. Approximately 383 were manufactured from 1924 to 1940.
  • SS80 (Super Sports) - Powered by J.A.P. or Matchless 1000 cc sidevalve v-twin engines. Approximately 1086 were manufactured from 1922 to 1940.
  • SS680 O.H.V. (Super Sports) - Powered by J.A.P. 680cc overhead valve v-twin. Approximately 547 were manufactured from 1926 to 1936.
  • 11.50 - Powered by J.A.P 1000cc sidevalve v-twin engines. These were primarily designed for sidecar and police use. Approximately 308 were manufactured from 1933 to 1940.


S8 16v 4.2L SV    
93.2 kW / 125.0 hp / 125.0 hp        

Brough Superior 4-Litre (1935)

4-door 5-seater fixed-head coupé, petrol (gasoline) 8-cylinder 16-valve straight (inline) engine, side valves (flathead, L-block, L-head), 4170 cm3 / 254.5 cu in / 254.5 cu in, 93.2 kW / 125.0 hp / 125.0 hp @ 4000 rpm / 4000 rpm / 4000 rpm, rear wheel drive


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