The Brough Superior outfit used in the hit British comedy TV shows George and Mildred and Dad’s Army has sold at a record auction along with a bike owned by stunt rider Bud Ekins who did the famous fence jump in The Great Escape.
Proving its star power, the 1933 Brough Superior 1096cc 11-50hp and Cruiser Sidecar sold for £71,300 ($130,675) in the Bonhams annual Spring Stafford Sale at the International Classic MotorCycle Show in Stafford over the weekend.
Yet it was not the biggest seller at the record auction where three motorcycles set new world record auction prices.
The 1962 Triumph 649cc TR6SS ridden by Ekins sold to an American bidder for a world record auction price of £97,750 (almost $A180,000) – over three times its top estimate.
A rare 1925 Coventry Eagle 981cc Flying-8 set a new auction record for the marque with £218,500 (about $A400,000).
A third world record was set for a 1935 Vincent-HRD 498cc Series-A Comet which sold for £97,750 (almost $A180,000).
The Brough outfit was used in 1972 in season five, episode 12 of Dad’s Army titled “Round and Round went the Great Big Wheel”.
Other bikes used in the series from 1970-77 include a Matchless G3L in the same episode as above and a BSA M21 in season seven.
George & Mildred
When the 1933 Brough Superior outfit was finished fighting off Mr Hitler’s invading forces, the bike was then featured heavily in George & Mildred (1976-79).
Its biggest starring role was in the opening credits.
Before the Brough wound up on the “idiot box”, it started life as a works entry for the formidable ISDT (International Six Days Trial) in 1934, winning a coveted gold medal.
It is one of only 308 built and has been owned by a family for more than 50 years.
Bud Ekins Trophy
Ekins rode the Triumph 649cc TR6SS Trophy to a gold medal in the 1962 International Six Day Trials (ISDT) in Europe.
The Trophy was sold along with the actual trophy he won for his individual class win.
The off-road racer, bike restorer and stunt rider was a close friend and riding partner of actor Steve McQueen as well as a good friend of actors Clint Eastwood and Paul Newman.
He famously doubled for Steve in the jump stunt in The Great Escape on a Triumph TR6 instead of a German BMW.
The movie was being shot in Germany in 1962 and Bud thought it would be a good idea to combine his film work with participation in that year’s ISDT, held at Garmisch Partenkirchen.
Triumph agreed to supply a suitable factory-prepared machine, which was flown to Germany and registered there.
After the event, in which Bud not only gained a Gold Medal but also won the Unlimited Capacity Class, the Triumph was flown back to his home in California where it was registered as ‘CAL 142080’.
Triumph adopted the Trophy model name on their off-road 500cc TR5 and 650cc TR6 twins following success in the ISDT in the late 1940s.
For 1962, the final year of the traditional ‘pre-unit’ Triumph twins, the Trophy was designated ‘TR6SS’ which is one of the rarest of all post-WW2 Triumphs, being produced for the ’62 season only.
It was powered by a 34-46hp an air-cooled OHV parallel twin with a single Amal carburettor, a 4-speed transmission, twin rear shock absorbers and telescopic forks, weighing 166kg dry.