Between WWI and WWII, English company Brough Superior crafted some of the most desirable motorcycles ever produced. T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, owned seven, had commissioned an eighth, and died riding one of his rocket-fast motorcycles. Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw liked them, too.
Naturally, you don’t tend to see these bikes on the open market. Recently, however, a super rare 1928 Brough Superior SS100 came up for sale. Nicknamed the Moby Dick by Motor Cycling magazine tester Dennis May, this particular version is the original Speed Custom motorcycle. As such, it truly is a mythological representation.
Each and every SS100 was customized by founder George Brough before it left Brough Superior’s Nottingham workshop.
The Moby Dick continued its metamorphosis when the compression ratio was increased, higher-lift cams were added, the valves were lightened, and twin Amal carbs were selected. When all was said and done, the Moby Dick SS100 pumped out 65 horsepower, 21 more than the base model, and could reach speeds of up to 115 mph.
The Moby Dick SS100 was sold to the Bilbé Brothers in 1936, who then raced it for four years before the next owner tucked it away during the war years. The 1928 SS100 then belonged to Tom Eccles for three decades before it was passed on to Roger Bilbé, the son of one of the Bilbé brothers and the restorer of the bike.
The Moby Dick is set to be auctioned off on Saturday, May 27, and is expected to fetch somewhere between $560,000 and $785,000.