Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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1912.3.5 h.p. Exhibit at the National Motorcycle Museum.
1912.3.5 h.p. Exhibit at the National Motorcycle Museum.
1914. 3.5 h.p. Model H. Exhibit at the National Motorcycle Museum.
1914. 3.5 h.p. Model H. Exhibit at the National Motorcycle Museum.

W. E. Brough and Co of Vernon Road, Basford, Nottingham

The company manufactured motorcycles from 1898 to 1925

1908 William Edward Brough began the legend that was later to become Brough Superior, the engineering genius of his son George. He began making production motorcycles in 1908. George and William were initially partners in the company.

1898 Brough built a small car, soon to be followed by a tricycle fitted with a 2.5hp De Dion engine.

1902 Appearance of first motorcycle, with an engine hung from the downtube and braced forks.

1906-1908 Various improvements were made to the design, and several models were produced. The 1908 modelo had a vertically mounted 3.5hp engine and sprung forks. That was soon joined by a 2.5hp and a 5hp V-twin. They were all made by the firm.

1910 Brough developed and built an advanced experimental engine. It had a rotary valve above the cylinder, which was driven by bevel gears, a shaft, and spur gears above the head and valve.

1912 A larger, 6hp V-twin model was available for touring and racing. The 3.5hp single was enlarged and a two-speed counter-shaft gearbox added. There was also an 8hp V-twin engine for the Brough Monocar and there was also a ladies' version, with an open frame and a 3.5hp engine.

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of motorcycles see the 1917 Red Book

1913 George Brough was entered in the Senior TT, on a model with a flat twin engine, but for the race an ABCC twin engine was used as their own was not ready, but he had to retire early from the race. Later in the year, the firm announced their own 3.5hp 497cc flat-twin model with ohv, the U. H. magneto clamped to the crankcase top and the two-speed gearbox to the crankcase underside. Chain drive was used from engine to gearbox while the final drive was from an adjustable pulley by belt. It was also fitted with Druid forks.

1915 Only the flat twin was listed, in two further forms. One had a three-speed gearbox and the other was for racing.

1916 to 1923 The standard models were joined by a larger 5hp version. In 1923 they were joined by a larger 5hp version of 810cc.

1919 George left his father's business in 1919, after an argument, to begin his own company Brough Superior in the same city of Nottingham.

1924 The larger version continued along with the 947cc model.

1925 Production ceased.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press 2004 ISBN 1 86126 674 X
  • [1] Ian Chadwick's motorcycle web site
  • The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle by Peter Henshaw. Published 2007. ISBN 978 1 8401 3967 9