Brough Superior cars History (1935 to 1939)
George Brough made approximately 85 cars named Brough Superior.Built between 1935 and 1939, they were powered by Hudson engines and had a Hudson chassis. Three models were made, but only two reached production. Early cars did not carry Brough Superior badges as Brough thought the cars sufficiently distinctive in themselves.
The first car was the 4 litre made from 1935 to 1936 using a 114 bhp (85 kW), 4,168 cc side valve, straight-eight engine. Performance was remarkable for the time with a top speed of 90 mph (140 km/h) and a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time of 10 seconds. The drop head coachwork was by Atcherley of Birmingham.
Hudson stopped supplying the eight-cylinder engine in 1936, and subsequent cars had a 107 bhp (80 kW), 3,455 cc straight-six, still with side valves and called the 3.5 litre. A Centric supercharged version was also listed with a claimed output of 140 bhp (100 kW). The chassis was 4 inches (100 mm) shorter than the 4 litre at 116 inches. Saloon bodies were available but most were open cars. Approximately 80 were made between 1936 and 1939.
The final car, the XII made in 1938, used a Lincoln-Zephyr V12 engine of 4,387 cc and Brough's own design of chassis with Girling brakes and Ford axles. Only one was made with a saloon body built by Charlesworth. A large car with an overall length of 219 inches (5,600 mm) and width of 71 inches (1,800 mm), it still survives.
Journalist Bill Boddy tested an early model Brough Superior Saloon in 1936 for Motor Sport magazine. Noting the car had a reserve fuel tank, he declined to fill up before the journey. Upon running out of petrol, he could not find the switch to activate the reserve. After begging petrol from a passing lorry Boddy then encountered a motorcyclist who had crashed, and offered to assist. When asked, he told Boddy that his bike was a Brough Superior and asked what was 'the nice car in which you are giving me a lift'. When told it was a Brough Superior the motorcyclist was silent for the rest of the journey. Boddy presumed this was incredulity that a famed motorcycle maker could also manufacture cars, and supposed that the motorcyclist presumed he was concussed.