The 2023 NEC Classic Motor Show Sale just wrapped in Birmingham, England, and a gorgeous 1938 Brough Superior SS100 sold for an impressive £241,500.
While that's not quite a quarter of a million pounds, you know what it's equivalent to on this side of the pond? Nearly $300,000 American dollars, that's what. Even after the crazy ride the housing market has been on for the past few years, that's still enough to buy a house in several states.
What makes this bike so special? This 1938 Brough Superior SS100 is powered by a Matchless 990cc overhead valve SS100 V-twin engine. Before leaving the factory, it was road-tested to a speed of 100 mph, hence the model name.
Gallery: 1938 Brough Superior SS100
Only 102 Matchless-powered bikes were ever produced. Of those, 34 had sprung frames. Only 25 are known to survive in 2023. This example bears the UK registration GUM 239, and it's a particularly well-known, multiple award-winning bike.
From the factory, this 1938 Brough Superior SS100 came with a Norton four-speed gearbox, Castle forks, and a twin float carburetor. In 2010, it was fully restored by the well-known Brough restoration expert Tony Cripps. It has matching numbers, a known history since 1954, and was owned by its most recent owner since 2018 prior to this auction.
For documentation enthusiasts, this bike also came with a far-reaching file full of old photos, documentation, MOTs, tax discs, and a bevy of additional historic paperwork. It's the kind of stuff you probably don't think much about when you lay hands on it in the present, but that can be extremely meaningful to people who find it in the future.
Lest you think that this bike is simply a well-preserved museum piece, think again. The auction listing mentioned it being in "good running order," and one of the awards it won in the past was, in fact, "Best Ridden To Show." (Does that make your heart happy? Me too.)
Although Iconic Auctioneers did post a walkaround video of this bike prior to its sale, it's only a walkaround and not a startup. While it would certainly have been nice to hear this bike run in all its glory, with only 25 or so still known to exist in the world, it's probably also understandable why that wasn't the choice made.