How bikes made in Sherwood became rare collectors' items
A VINTAGE motorbike made in Nottingham is set to go under the hammer for more than a million times the price its original owner paid for it.
A Brough Superior SS80 motorcycle won in a raffle more than 40 years ago could fetch upwards of £50,000 when it goes under the hammer at Bonhams, London in April.
The 1931 model, which was built at the company's Haydn Road factory, in Sherwood, started life as a sidecar outfit with Ipswich Police.
It was offered as first prize in a fund-raising raffle at the Brough Superior Club in 1972. Tickets were sold for five pence each, or 50 pence for a book of 10, and second and third prizes respectively were ten and five gallons of oil.
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The lucky winner sold the machine to a club member who raced it for several years, before it passed to its current owner in 2004.
Ben Walker is the International Director for Collecting Motorcycles at Bonhams.
He said: "Brough Superiors are mythical bikes, the superbike of the 1920s and 30s in fact. They're very desirable.
"George Brough was a marketing genius time. The mystique and desirability continues to present day – they're extremely valuable.
"This bike has an estimate of £50-70,000 – there are examples more valuable but not many with a better story."
The bike will join another Brough Superior offered by the same vendor at the sale.
The second machine – a rare 1926 SS80/100 model is estimated to fetch over £160,000.
Around 3,000 motorcycles and 85 cars were made by George Brough in his Brough Superior works in Haydn Road, Sherwood, from 1919 to 1940.
George Brough, who set up the company, was born in Mandalay Street, Basford, in 1890.
After the end of the First World War, he went into partnership with his father, William, in Vernon Road.
But having ideas of his own, he decided to break away, determined to make a Brough Superior machine better than any bike then available.
He bought land and built premises for the purpose in Haydn Road, Sherwood.
TE Lawrence, otherwise known as Lawrence of Arabia" was a well-known fan of the company. He owned seven Brough Superiors and died in 1935 after crashing one.
The war interrupted the success story, and no more Brough Superiors were made after 1940. The factory was demolished in the 1980s.
The auction is to take place on Sunday, April 28.