Bonhams Stafford Sale Smashes Record for British Motorcycle

| 4/25/2016 9:43:00 AM

1932 Brough Superior Model BS4

Lot 296, the ex-Hubert Chantrey 1932 Brough Superior 800cc Model BS4 Project. All photos courtesy Bonhams.

• Bonhams Stafford Sale saw the 1938 Brough Superior 750cc BS4 sold for £331,900, setting a new world record for a British motorcycle sold at auction
• The eight long-lost Broughs of Bodmin Moor collectively sold for £752,625
• Best of British: Highlights include the 1939 Vincent-HRD 998cc Rapide Series-A Project, sold for £270,300, the 1929 Coventry-Eagle 980cc Flying-8 OHV sold for £163,900, and the 1938 Brough Superior 982cc SS100, sold for £219,900
• The auction achieved an astounding £3,454,501

Bonhams Stafford Sale set a new world record price for a Brough Superior and for any British motorcycle sold at auction, as the gavel fell at an astounding £331,900 for the 1938 Brough Superior 750cc BS4.

The BS4 was the highlight lot in the collection “The Broughs of Bodmin Moor,” which sold 100 percent to achieve a collective £752,625. These iconic, rare British motorcycles were believed to have been destroyed, until Bonhams motorcycle department discovered the eight machines in 2015 in a remote Cornish village. The motorcycles were discovered whole, in parts, and some were partially submerged under decades of dust, old machinery parts and household clutter. Bonhams Stafford sale saw the bikes unveiled for the first time in more than 50 years.

Motorcycles of the 1920s and 1930s largely featured only one cylinder, so when the BS4 launched at the Olympia Motor Cycle Show in 1931, with its engine and gearbox taken from an Austin 7 motor car, it was truly revolutionary for the marque. Only ten BS4 models (aka Brough Superior “four cylinder”) were built, and only seven survive.