I’m a sucker for any Brough Superior, but especially for one that held the speed record in the 1920’s and was affectionately nicknamed after Melville’s masterpiece. Unfortunately, the White Whale will set you back an estimated $425,000.
“Bonhams are returning to the International Motorcycle Show in Staffordshire on 16th October 2011 with another exceptional line-up of motorcycles. The star of the auction is the 1929 Brough Superior SS100 known as Moby Dick, the fastest motorcycle of the 1920s, which has attracted a pre-sale estimate of £240,000 – £280,000.
Hailed in its day as ‘the fastest privately owned machine in the world suitable for road use’, this motorcycle is expected to prove very popular with bidders. Tested by Motor Cycling magazine in 1931, ‘Moby Dick’ achieved a top speed of 106mph, a staggering achievement at a time when very few road vehicles of any sort were capable of reaching three-figure speeds. Further tuning of the modified 1,142cc v-twin engine later raised that figure to 115mph in top (third) gear, with 109mph achievable in second. Sold but later repurchased by the vendor’s family, Moby Dick was restored in 1998 and since then has continued to delight and amaze enthusiasts wherever it appears.”