Bonhams | 16-Oct-2016 | The Autumn Stafford Sale Important Collectors Motorcycles | Venue : Stafford, Staffordshire County Showground
Category : Classic Motorcycles
Lot No. : 178
Year : 1937
Engine Size : -
Registration No. : DWJ 812
Chassis No. : # M8/1854
Engine No. : # LTZ/F 57029/SN
No longer available - Sold or withdrawn from sale


• Delivered new to Sheffield Police
• Original sidecar chassis
• Matching frame, engine, and oil tank numbers
• New fuel tank
'It (the 11-50) had been produced in response to requests from abroad, particularly from overseas police forces, for a machine with SS100 levels of performance but with the simplicity of the side valves and at a lower price.' - Peter Miller, 'Brough Superior - The Complete Story'.
Launched in 1933, the 1,096cc 11-50 was the largest Brough Superior to enter series production. Powered by a sidevalve v-twin (of unusual 60-degree configuration) supplied exclusively to the Nottingham factory by J A Prestwich, the 11-50 fitted into the Brough price range between the SS80 touring and SS100 super-sports models. Facilitating its sale abroad, the 11-50 featured sidecar mounts on both sides of the frame. It had been conceived as a long-legged, effortless tourer and was claimed by its maker to offer 85mph performance in solo form and pull a heavy sidecar at a comfortable 70mph; indeed, in the latter role it was one of the finest sidecar mounts of its day. Production lasted until 1939, by which time the 11-50 was the only JAP-powered machine in the Brough Superior range.
Police forces that purchased the 11-50 included those of Cheltenham, Rotherham, Sheffield, Stockport, Yorkshire West Riding, Glamorgan and, of course, the City of Nottingham, while foreign purchasers included police forces in Canada and Australia. Sheffield Police were the first owners of 'DWJ 812', which was one of a batch of seven identical sidecar outfits consecutively registered 'DWJ 808' to 'DWJ 814' .They were delivered between mid August and mid September 1937 and all collected by road. A photograph exists of a line-up of the outfits at the Sheffield Police sports stadium, with the Station Superintendent stood to the rear. 'DWJ 812' has the rigid frame and Monarch front fork that characterised the 'standard' offering for sidecar use (Castle forks and rear suspension were options) and retains its original police leg shields.
Almost certainly, 'DWJ 812' left Sheffield Police service in September 1939 when they purchased a batch of Matchless-engined SS100 outfits. From that time, the Brough disappeared from view, only resurfacing in 1986 in the ownership of one Paul Metcalfe of Nottingham. The machine then passed to an unknown owner in Nottingham, who sold it to dealer Andy Tiernan in 1990. Later that same year, the Brough was purchased by John Fisher of Mutford, Suffolk, who sold it back to Andy Tiernan in 2000. The current vendor then purchased the combination from Andy Tiernan and restored it, the completed machine making a first appearance at the Brough Superior Club's Annual Rally in 2003. Since then 'DWJ 812' has been a regular participant in Brough Club events, and also in rallies in Italy and Germany.
The 11-50 retains matching frame, engine and oil tank numbers, while the gearbox has a later shell. The original fuel tank had long gone; however, a new tinplate and soft-soldered tank was made by Ernie Rowe - regarded as an exceptional tank maker, but sadly now not in business. Plated, painted, and lined as original, it was fitted in July 2016. The 11-50 is a heavy motorcycle, so the decision was made during the rebuild to manufacture and fit a roll-on stand to Brough Superior specification.
Several years ago the opportunity arose to obtain this 11-50's original Sheffield Police petrol-tube sidecar chassis, number '151'. The special police sidecar body had long vanished, but a replica was constructed using measurements and drawings from the BSOC and another original police sidecar body. The police body's main difference is its blunt nose, contrasting with the pointed deck of the 'standard' Brough Superior Cruiser body - one joke is that they needed the blunt nose to get the policeman's boots in! There is also a slightly taller and more upright windscreen.
As of 2016, five of these ex-Sheffield Police Brough Superior 11/50s survive, though only three now remain in the UK. 'DWJ 812' is the only one of the five survivors with its original police sidecar chassis. It should be noted that the Brough has not been ridden as a sidecar outfit, and will need final setting up if used in this way (it still has solo gearing). It boasts the enormous flexibility typical of all 11-50s, the torque curve being virtually flat across the rev range. A top-gear machine, it wafts along, and with deft use of the left-hand ignition advance/retard twist-grip, can drop to 15mph and still pull away on hills. As a solo, its 'party piece' is to start in top gear with rider and pillion passenger aboard!
Described as in generally very good condition, the machine is offered with copy Works Record Card and a V5C registration document.