H&H Classics claims a world auction-record price was paid Saturday for a 1930 Brough Superior SS 100 when the one ridden and raced by George Brough’s closest friend, F.P. “Gentleman” Dickson, brought £425,500 ($561,426) at an auction held at the British National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.
The bike had a pre-auction estimated value of £160,000 to £200,000 ($211,360 to $264,200).
Overall, the auction generated £1.2 million ($1.585 million) with a sell-through rate of more than 70 percent.
“I can’t say this result came as a huge surprise, given the steady rise in values of Brough motorcycles,” Mark Bryan, head of motorcycle sales at H&H Classics, said in a news release. “But given this bike’s race history and its complete condition, it was always going to do well at sale.”
Bryan revealed that the buyer was an American and the bike will be shipped to the United States.
“Gentleman” Dickson was George Brough’s closest friend and they entered many races together as the Brough factory team. The most important event at that time was the International Six Days Trials which took place in Scotland and several other countries in Europe. The pair won gold medals in Scotland and in Austria, where they were the overall winners.
However, when competing in the 6-day even in 1930 in Switzerland, Dickson crashed on the first day. Teammates Brough and Eddy Meyer withdrew to accompany Dickson to the hospital, and Brough sustained a broken leg when struck by a car driving on the wrong side of the road.
Dickson apparently would not allow his injured foot to be amputated and after a 42-day hospital stay he died of pneumonia.
Meanwhile, Brough’s leg never fully recorded and he had to use a cane for the rest of his life.
Dickson’s bike had been partly restored and was sold at the auction with all of its parts awaiting completion of the restoration.
Several of the other bikes at the auction sold with expected price ranges, although a 1956 BSA DB34 Gold Star brought £15,468.75 ($20,433), nearly double its high estimate.