Another Brough Superior joins the top 10 most valuable motorcycles at auction


October 19, 2011

Moby Dick, the famous 1929 SS100 Brough Superior

Moby Dick, the famous 1929 SS100 Brough Superior

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Another Brough Superior motorcycle has moved into the top 10 most valuable motorcycles sold at auction when the 1929 SS100 commonly known as 'Moby Dick' sold for GBP 210,500 (US$333,210).

The auction result continues the trend of Brough Superiors becoming the most valuable brand in the world, with four of the 10 most valuable motorcycles now coming from the famous (and recently resurrected) brand name.

Interestingly, yet another Brough Superior SS100 will front the auctioneer on November 16 (est. GBP165,000-185,000) and it will almost certainly become the eighth Brough Superior in the top 20, and the eleventh of this group to have been sold by Bonhams.

Though Moby Dick failed to reach its estimate of GBP240,000 to GBP280,000, it still became either the fifth or sixth most valuable motorcycle ever to be sold at auction. It's one of the issues of valuing things in an increasingly global world where exchange rates vary.

In September 2008, a 1939 Vincent-HRD 998cc Series-A Rapide was sold at auction by Bonhams in London for the sum of GBP198,400 (at that time US$347,200). Now, depending on which currency you wish to use, Moby Dick is either more or less valuable than the Vincent at GBP 210,500 or US$333,210. They are between them, the fifth and sixth most valuable motorcycles sold at auction.

'Moby Dick' was widely regarded as 'the fastest privately owned machine in the world suitable for road use' eighty years ago.

It was tested by Motor Cycling magazine in 1931, achieving a top speed of 106 mph. Further tuning of the modified 1,142cc v-twin engine later raised that figure to 115mph in top (third) gear, with 109mph achievable in second.

The winning bidder is reported to be delighted with his purchase, having beaten several other bidders to the trophy.

The upcoming auction of the next "most likely" SS100 will be held at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate (U.K.) on November 16, 2011.

The bike in question is a 1928 SS100 motorcycle with an estimate of GBP 165,000-185,000. It had formerly been a prominent part of the Brough Superior landscape as it had been owned by well known racer and Brough Superior Club President, Dick Knight.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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