The Lost Brough Superiors of Bodmin Moor

| 2/16/2016 12:00:00 AM

Brough Superior 

The horde included a 1938 SS100 (pictured) and a rare 750cc BS4. Photo by Phillip Tooth

Bonhams Auctions motoring specialist Jonathan Vickers first heard the legend of the lost Brough Superiors of Bodmin Moor about 20 years ago, but like many others he thought that it was just an urban myth.

“I was at the Royal Cornwall Show when a man told me that a family who lived in a remote village on Bodmin Moor might need advice on the best way to sell some old Brough Superiors,” Vickers says, “but he couldn’t remember the address.” Rugged and desolate Bodmin Moor covers over 125 square miles of northeastern Cornwall, England, so Vickers’ boss Ben Walker came up with the idea of using Google Street View. “We knew that the property was run down, and that there were a number of outbuildings, so we used Google to scout the location,” he explains. “And we found one that looked promising.”

When Vickers arrived at the property with a couple of Bonhams catalogs in hand, the family was happy for him to look inside the sheds. “I couldn’t believe it,” Vickers says. “There were eight Broughs, including a 1938 Matchless-engined SS100, a sidevalve 11-50hp JAP model, and even a 750cc BS4, one of only 10 of these 4-cylinder, twin-rear-wheel motorcycles to be made. Some were partly dismantled; others were submerged under decades of dust, old machinery and household clutter.”

Brough Superior