I bought a bike for £150 50 years ago – now it's set to sell for £180,000 at auction | The Sun

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A PENSIONER who bought a classic Brough bike 50 years ago for £150 is now set to sell it for a whopping £180,000.

The 1931 Brough Superior SS100 was dubbed the 'Rolls-Royce' of motorcycles back in the day.

Regarded as the world's first superbike, the Superior had a top speed of 130 mph, which was unheard of at the time.

It is believed that the one for sale was from the same production batch as the SS100 that Lawrence of Arabia was killed on in 1935.

The vendor, a retired aircraft engineer, bought his SS100 from a friend in 1973 – and he only paid £150 for it at the time – about £800 today.

He rode it for 20 years before putting it into storage, and it has not been ridden since then.


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The bike, which will need a restoration, is expected to fuel a bidding war when it goes under the hammer at auctioneers Bonhams.

Its high estimate is around 1,200 times what the unnamed vendor paid for it.

He said: "I was all too aware of the SS100's notoriety, especially as I worked as an aircraft engineer for Vickers at the historic Brooklands race circuit where, in 1939, an SS100 took the all-time track record of 124.51mph."

Ben Walker, international department director at Bonhams Motorcycles, said: "It's always a joy to find a machine with such a high level of integrity and originality – and one that has been loved and maintained by its engineer owner.

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"The fact that such a prestigious motorcycle – the Rolls-Royce of motorcycles – remains in the largely unmolested condition is very unusual.

"It offers the next owner the tantalising choice of either maintaining its patina or restoring it to its former 'show specification'.

"I don't envy the person having to make that decision."

Inventor George Brough made 3,000 SS100s between 1920 to 1940 – and they were such a luxury item that only wealthy people could afford one.

Bonhams will auction the classic superbike on April 22, 2023.

This comes after a rare motorbike ridden by the legendary Mike Hailwood is set to fetch up to £120,000 when it goes under the hammer later this month.

Plus, the world's first 130mph superbike could fetch an eye-watering £280,000 when it goes under the hammer at auction.

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