1937 Brough Superior
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1937 Brough Superior 3½-Litre Saloon
Coachwork by W C Atcherley
Registration no. EAU 30
Chassis no. 42137
It was surely inevitable that a company whose products had earned the well-deserved sobriquet 'The Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles' would eventually turn to the manufacture of motor cars. George Brough's motorcycles were assembled from the finest available proprietary components and he adopted the same approach to motor manufacturing, using the Hudson Terraplane chassis also favoured by Railton in both 4.2-litre eight-cylinder and 3½-litre six-cylinder forms. Birmingham-based coachbuilder W C Atcherley had bodied Brough's first Meadows-engined prototype of 1933 and was duly commissioned to provide the bodies for his latest venture. George Brough came up with the design for the radiator grille, which had been inspired by the shape of his motorcycles' fuel tank, while inside the car was a new dashboard equipped with British-made instruments and switches. There was further 'Anglicisation' in the form of Lucas lighting, Luvax shock absorbers, and an optional Smiths Jackall hydraulic jacking system, while the electrics were upgraded from 6 to 12 volts.
Threatened with legal action by Railton's aggrieved founder, Noel Macklin, Hudson was soon forced to stop supplying the eight-cylinder chassis to Brough, leaving George with a six-cylinder range only, which now included a four-door saloon by Atcherley. With 100bhp on tap, the Brough Superior 3½-Litre was good for a top speed of 90mph, with 60mph achievable from rest in 12 seconds. Prices were on a par with the contemporary 20hp Alvis at £665 (drophead) and £695 (saloon). When production ceased in 1939, an estimated 25 eight-cylinder and 50 six-cylinder Brough Superiors had been made, making them among the rarest of fine quality British sporting cars of the 1930s.
This six-cylinder Brough was in a poor state when purchased and has been completely rebuilt and repainted by marque specialist Ian Johns over a three-year period. It has had very little use since the rebuild. The car is offered for sale from long-term storage, and it is expected that it will have been got running by time of sale. Nevertheless, further re-commissioning will almost certainly be required before it returns to the road. Accompanying documentation consists of some 'as found' and restoration-in-progress photographs, various old-style V5 registration certificates, sundry expired MoTs, and an old-style V5C.