HomeCar CultureCommentaryBarn find? No, this motorcycle was found in the living room

Barn find? No, this motorcycle was found in the living room


“I am more used to pulling old bikes out of barns and garages and other strange places,” Mark Bryan, head of motorcycle sales at H&H Classics, was saying, “so it was rather different coming across this 1937 Brough Superior SS80 in the owner’s living room.”

Say what?

That’s right, the highly collectible vintage motorcycle that’s going to auction March 2 had been residing in its owner’s living room.

“But it’s not surprising really,” Bryan added, “given the love and work he put into it, and it’s value today.”

The late Michael Howick, a retired bus driver from London, had kept the motorcycle in his living room for a decade. He’d purchased the bike in 1956 from his father-in-law for £22. Well, at least he’d purchased a box of disassembled motorcycle parts from his father-in-law for that price.

Howick restored the machine in the early 1980s and rode it to a variety of events, including the Festival of 1000 Bikes at Brands Hatch. 

He also created a homemade, bullet-nosed sidecar around a period Blacknell sidecar frame. 

H&H Classics says the numbers-correct motorcycle, now valued between £40,000 and £60,000 ($52,600 and $78,950), and its original Brough Superior build sheet and the side car, will be auctioned in March at the National Motorcycle Museum.

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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