George Brough launched his first motorcycle model, the SS80, in 1922 and quickly established a reputation of speed, style and quality for his products by riding his own highly-tuned and stripped down SS80 to many successes. Indeed, it was virtually unbeatable and was the first side-valve motorcycle to lap Brooklands faster than 100mph (161kph). Two years later, he introduced the legendary SS100, the model code of which reflected Brough’s signed guarantee that each example had been timed in excess of 100mph just as the SS80 had exceeded 80mph. In 1926, the SS680 was launched with a smaller, 680cc J.A.P. V-twin engine and finally, in 1933, the last production model, the 11-50 was launched.
The 11-50 model code reflected that it featured a 1,100cc (1,096cc), side-valve, J.A.P. V-twin engine rated at 50hp. The engine featured an unusual 60-degree angle between the cylinders and was supplied exclusively to Brough by J.A. Prestwich. The 11-50 was designed primarily as a touring solo or sidecar mount and, with its large, torquey engine it could propel a sidecar combination to 75mph (121kph) and achieve 90mph (145kph) in solo form. Production lasted until the outbreak of Second World War in 1939 with output totalling 308.
This example was used first registered in June, 1935, in London and used in the UK until around 1960 when it was taken to Austria by the legendary Austrian racing motorcyclist, motoring journalist and founder of the Salzburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix, Dr Helmut Krackowizer. It was previously owned and restored by the Brandstetter Collection, which is now housed at the Hockenheim Museum in Germany, and then acquired by Professor Ehn in April, 1969. It was last used on the road in 1977.
Since being acquired for the NZ Classic Motorcycles collection at an auction of Professor Ehn’s collection in London in June, 2008, it has been comprehensively restored by Brough specialist, Bill Clark, in England.
New Zealand Classic Motorcycles
The museum formerly at Napier housed an extraordinary collection. It has moved to the home of the World's Fastest Indian.
More information: New Zealand Classic Motorcycles.