Sunday, June 24, 2012

Brough-Superior an odd little story!

I have always been fascinated with history.  Old motorcycles all have a history of some sort.  Some are simple; some are heroic and others are just plain odd and others are surrounded by rumor and myth.

The cycle that started me on the road to build the Overland is one of those histories.  That particular machine is the one and only single cylinder cycle that George Brough ever built.  The 1926 Dog Ear JAP 500 single.

Presumably sometime in 1926 an un-named customer approached George with the request for a single cylinder race machine of 350 capacity.  George refused believing that 350 was much too small for a Brough-Superior; racing or not.  So the customer was convinced to have the machine with a 500 race tuned twin port.

If the build card exists I have to been able to gain access to it.  So the details of frame and gear box and the basic type and kind of cycle parts is unknown to me.  In fact I accidentally ran across the fact that a single was ever built.  Here are the plain odd facts of the survival of the single.

The motorcycle was delivered and the owner road it for a bit on the road and may have even raced it a few times as a privateer.  However with few miles on the clock the owner had an accident and was killed.  Apparently the accident was quite dramatic and for the family of course traumatic.  For the cycle was abandoned at the site of the accident.

Years later the bike was discovered, retrieved or hunted down and a complete restoration was undertaken.  The frame was completed rusted away and replaced.  I have never been able to find out who the current owner is or get any more details on the resurrection the racer.  It seems that around 1988 the motorcycle was completed enough to allow for it to be run.  Those photos can be seen at:

The photos that illustrate this post are from the flickr files of George Dulcot at:

From the photos the Geroge Dulcot has it’s clear the restoration seems to be complete.  The bike looks to be more now fitted with all remaining cycle parts and bits and bobs that a privateer from 1926 would have equipped his cycle with.  

If anybody out there has any information to contribute to this little history mystery please by all means drop me a line.

1 comment:

  1. This bike was ridden in the IOM TT Centenary in 2007 on the original St Johns Course, then displayed at Tynwald along with many other bikes including the original Senior Race winning 1907 Norton-Peugeot.