HomeThe MarketSimeone museum's classic motorcycle exhibition features Vincent, Brough Superior

Simeone museum’s classic motorcycle exhibition features Vincent, Brough Superior


Rollie Free sets speed record on a Vincent | Simeone Museum photo
Rollie Free sets speed record on a Vincent | Simeone Museum photo

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum’s annual classic motorcycle show for 2014 will feature Vincent/HRD, Brough Superior and pre-1974 250cc-and-under bikes. The show runs from August 16 through September 12 at the museum in Philadelphia. The bikes then head for another display, this one at the 18th annual Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance on September 14.

Vincent, of course, is the famed British brand established in 1928 at HRD Motorcycles. HRD was short-lived, however, and was sold twice that same year, the second time for 450 pounds to Philip Vincent, whose family had money to support his efforts, which included building his own engines.

For many years, Vincents were the fastest production motorcycles on the planet. A photograph of Rollie Free setting a speed record at Bonneville in 1948 while wearing his swimming trunks on a Vincent Black Lightning has become legendary.

The bikes were fast but very expensive to produce, and the company went bankrupt in 1955.

While Vincents were known for their speed, Brough Superior bikes were considered the “Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles.” They were produced from 1919 to 1940, and around 1,000 of the 3,048 built remain in existence.

T.E. Lawrence, better known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia, owned seven Brough Superiors, and he died of injuries sustained in a crash while riding one of them.

A special feature of the motorcycle show at the Simeone will be a photography workshop August 17 featuring Dawn Deppi, who will discuss her techniques for photographing motorcycles. Also participating will be experts from Canon, Macgroup and New York Camera.

Information on the motorcycle show and photography workshop can be found on the Simeone website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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