Become a Member: Get Ad-Free Access to 3,000+ Reviews, Guides, & More

Moby Dick Brough Superior up for auction

1928 Brough Superior SS100 called “Moby Dick”
1928 Brough Superior SS100 called “Moby Dick”

A 1928 Brough Superior SS100 called Moby Dick that was once the “fastest privately owned machine in the world” is a highlight of a Sotheby’s auction in Italy next month.

The  ‘Moto-Icons: From Café Racer to the Superbike’ sale of 20 bikes is from a single-owner collection and will be held on May 27, 2017, on the shores of Lake Como, Italy, during the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este weekend.

The Moby Dick Brough which was labelled the world’s fastest privately owned bike in 1931 by Motor Cycling Magazine for clocking 115mph in top gear, is expected to fetch up to $A1 million.

If the Moby Dick Brough realises that amount, it would be the most expensive Brough sold at auction, beating the previous record of $A623,946 (£331,900/$US480,196) set last year for a rusted 1932 Brough Superior 800cc Model BS4 project motorcycle that was lost for more than 50 years.

Brough BS4 - Moby Dick
1932 Brough Superior 800cc Model BS4

The Moto Icons sale features a collection of 20 bikes created by one owner over the past decade, including four MV Agustas, five Brough Superiors and two Nortons.

Moto Icons auction sale - moby dick
Moto Icons collection

Other highlights from the British Brough marque include a 1936 Brough Superior SS100, one of 102 SS100s built with the Matchless engine (Est. €180.000-€250.000); a 1938 Brough Superior SS80 De Luxe (Est. €100.000-€150.000); an earlier, V-Twin powered 1933 Brough Superior SS80 De Luxe, bought from Brough Superior owner and CEO, Mark Upham (Est. €120.000-€180.000); and the 2011 Brough Superior SS100 750 “Baby Pendine”, which set a new record in both miles and kilometres at the 2013 Bonneville Speed Trials (Est. €100.000-€150.000).

Vying for top billing with Moby Dick is the ex-Scuderia Duke 1957 Gilera 500 ‘4-Cilindri’  (Est. €380.000-€450.000).

1957 Gilera 500 ‘4-Cilindri - moby dick
1957 Gilera 500 ‘4-Cilindri’

The last of 15 racing 500 GPs made by Gilera, this ‘4-Cilindri’ example was raced by Derek Minter, John Hartle and Phil Read in period.

The four MV Agustas in the Moto Icons auction are led by a 2010 MV Agusta 500 3-Cilindri, the last of six collaboration bikes created with World Champion Giacomo Agostini (Est. €200.000-€250.000).

1968 MV Agusta 860 Magni - moby dick
1968 MV Agusta 860 Magni

There is also a 1968 MV Agusta 860 Magni, modified to 860 specification in 2007 by Giovanni Magni, son of famed Arturo Magni (Est. €100.000-€150.000); a 1974 MV Agusta 750 S, originally owned by factory rider Gianfranco Bonera (Est. €90.000-€130.000); and a one-of-400 production 1954 MV Agusta 125 Monoalbero Corsa (Est. €40.000 – €70.000).

1963 Norton Manx 30M - Moby dick
1963 Norton Manx 30M

Additional highlights of Moto-Icons include the 1963 Norton Manx 30M, believed to be Jack Ahearn’s winning bike from the 1964 Finnish Grand Prix (Est. €50.000-€70.000); a 1954 BMW RS 54, one of only 24 RS54s built by BMW that year and later restored by former BMW factory racer, Kurt Busch (Est. €125.000-€175.000); an early 1919  Indian Powerplus Board Track Racer, among the first generation of motorcycles ever built (Est. €50.000-€70.000); and, a matching-numbers, freshly restored 1937 Zündapp K800 (Est. €20.000-€35.000).

The complete collection set for RM Villa Erba can be viewed here.