McQueen's Brough sold

Ex-McQueen SS80 Sir? That’s $176,000 please. Image by Paul Litwinski, copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company.

As of last weekend the answer is $176,000. That’s what auctioneers Gooding & Co got for a 1931 model at its Pebble Beach auction.

Okay, one former owner was Steve McQueen, and these days anything once owned by the coolest man in the history of the world fetches huge sums; a few years ago his 1937 Crocker went at auction of $276,000 and an ex-McQueen ’34 Indian Scout was sold together with a 1920 Indian Daytona for $327,000. Even the sunglasses he wore in The Thomas Crown Affair fetched $70,000. Mine were £4.99 on Chester market but there you go.


Back to the Brough though; it was an SS80 registered as GP 1441 originally, frame number 1161 and engine number KTCY/W 92365/S. Putting out 30bhp from its 998cc side-valve JAP V-twin, and fitted with a three-speed Sturmey-Archer box it was – of course – a real superbike in its day.

The auction saw a lot of hugely wealthy enthusiasts hitting their platinum credit cards. Ferraris were selling for up to $5.5 million, and a 1927 Duesenberg fetched $10.34 million. The Brough, on the other hand, was a real bargain if you were paying in sterling – $176,000 is worth just a few quid over £109,000 right now. Bargain, eh?

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